UPDATE: The Turkish Defence Ministry deleted the tweet minutes after the publication of this article.
This is perhaps one of the first time Ankara has used the term “genocide”, something it usually ardently avoids, and especially unusual since it came from the Turkish Defence Ministry.
The Turkish Defence Ministry said on Twitter “We reject and do not recognise the Latvian Parliament’s decision on the genocide.”
Latvia’s parliament (Seima) officially recognised the Armenian Genocide on Thursday with 58 votes to 11 and seven abstentions
Turkey usually refers to the 1915 Armenian Genocide as “the events” and occasionally references “massacres.”
However, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has veered off from what has been consistent decades-long policy of denial to the fact that the founders of the modern Turkish Republic exterminated the Ottoman Empire’s Christian minority.
Beginning in 1913, the Ottoman Empire began its systematic extermination of its Christian minority by targeting Eastern Thrace’s indigenous Greek population, before turning their eyes against the Armenians in 1915.
Over the course of a decade, the Ottoman Empire would killed around three million Christians – 1.5 million Armenians, one million Greeks and at least half a million Assyrians.
The Seima’s decision follows Joe Biden becoming the first U.S. president to recognise the Armenian Genocide.
Turkey embarked on an aggressive campaign of condemning and denouncing Biden’s recognition, making it all the more peculiar that only weeks later the Turkish Defence Ministry would use the “genocide.”