US Envoy to Turkey Attends Concert Marking Armenian Genocide

US Ambassador to Turkey, John Bass, speaks to a journalist at a concert comemmorating the Armenian Genocide in Istanbul.

YEREVAN (Armenpress)—US Ambassador to Turkey John Bass on Thursday participated in a concert in Istanbul dedicated to the centennial anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

During an intermission in the show, the US Ambassador responded to questions from Turkish journalists from IMC TV, saying: “As US President Barack Obama mentions in his annual April 24th statement, we believe that 1.5 million Armenians were killed in 1915 and that the Great Catastrophe is an undeniable tragedy. We also believe that we have to work on making sure each person in this society acknowledges that tragedy and the facts about the Great Catastrophe fairly.”

Artists from around the world joined together for a performance in memory of the Armenian Genocide.

Touching upon the Armenian American community’s criticism against President Barack Obama for not preparing to use the term “genocide” in his April 24th statement this year, John Bass said: “The freedom of speech and expression is a valuable and fundamental right in the United States of America. That’s why it’s important that all citizens can interpret official statements, as well as the President’s statements.”

Other notable people in attendance included French Ambassador Laurent Bili, former Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertuğrul Günay, human rights lawyer and Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu, and Turkish intellectual Hasan Cemal.


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  1. Levon said:

    Attendance at this event has no bearing on why obama remains complicit in genocide denial. No other words but spineless coward accurately describes the democratic party. This is indefensible and unacceptable. The administration and their party have lost any hope with Armenians.

  2. Vahe Nalbandian said:

    I am encouraged by the statement made by the U.S. ambassador to Turkey: “We believe that 1.5 million Armenians were killed in 1915 and that the Great Catastrophe is an undeniable tragedy.” This is a very powerful statement. If killing 1.5 million innocent people is not genocide, then what is? Let us not get hung up on one word. We have a duty of allegiance to this great country that accepted us as immigrants and afforded us with every opportunity. We need not insist that the President harm the national interest of the U.S. Formal recognition will come in due time. We have made a great deal of progress in that direction.

  3. craig said:

    It’s nice knowing he went, but saying that Obama’s failure to call it Genocide is a matter of freedom of speech is B.S.

  4. Areg said:

    John Bass as well to go to Turkey on April 24’th. He is not wanted.

  5. Areg said:

    We do not need you John Bass. Leave Armenia. Go to Turkey. You are as fake as Obama.