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.”
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.