Hundreds of people from the Turkish-American community gathered in the US capital Sunday to commemorate Turkish diplomats killed by Armenian terrorist groups and protest Armenian claims regarding the events of 1915.
The demonstrators, from the Washington area as well as New York and New Jersey, convened in front of the Turkish embassy residence located on Sheridan Circle in the northwest of Washington, D.C.
One side of the circle drew Turks and the other side hosted Armenian demonstrators, who were fewer in number.
Some Armenian associations in Los Angeles, California, where the largest Armenian population lives in the US, gathered in front of the Turkish Consulate General.
However, it was observed that the number of Armenians participating in the demonstration was quite low compared to previous years.
Organized by the Turkish-American National Steering Committee (TASC), the event started with the reading of the national anthem and continued with chanting and dancing.
During the demonstration, the attendees carried Turkish and Azerbaijani flags and chanted slogans in favor of Turkiye and Azerbaijan. Some banners read "History cannot be judged by politics" and "We reject Armenian lies" while others expressed peace between Turkiye and Armenia.
The demonstrators also called on President Joe Biden’s administration not to use the 1915 events as a political tool, while voicing discomfort with the distortion of historical events.
Turkish Ambassador to the US Hasan Murat Mercan hosted a group photo with the participants at the end of the gathering.
Last year, Biden called the events of 1915 a "genocide," breaking with the long-held tradition of US presidents of refraining from using the term. The move was strongly rejected by Turkiye as "null and void.”
Nearly 80 people -- 58 of them Turkish citizens, including 31 diplomats and members of their families -- were killed in attacks from 1973 to 1986 carried out by the ASALA and ARA terrorist groups.
The deadly campaign began in 1973 with the assassination of Turkiye's Consul General in Los Angeles Mehmet Baydar and diplomat Bahadir Demir by a terrorist named Gourgen Yanikian.
Turkiye's position on the 1915 events remains that the death of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces.
Turkiye objects to presenting the 1915 events as a “genocide,” describing them as a tragedy in which both Turks and Armenians suffered casualties.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkiye and Armenia under the supervision of international experts to examine the issue.