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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaking at a press conference in November 2020. Photo: Alexis Mitas/Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the Biden administration Monday for designating the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces in 1915 as an act of genocide, telling the U.S. to "look in the mirror," Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Erdoğan has previously warned a genocide declaration would harm U.S.-Turkey relations. On Monday, he threatened to retaliate by recognizing the U.S.'s long history of violence against Native Americans as genocide.

Context: The mass killing occurred when the Ottoman Empire attempted to transport Armenians from eastern Anatolia to the Syrian desert during World War I.

  • Armenians estimate that up to 1.5 million died. Turkey has recognized atrocities that occurred during this time, but denies it was an act genocide and says the death toll is exaggerated.
  • Previous administrations, including the Trump administration, typically steered clear of the genocide designation to avoid straining relations with Turkey, which is a NATO member and has been seen as crucial to containing Russia and managing issues in the Middle East.

What he's saying: "The U.S. President has made baseless, unjust and untrue remarks about the sad events that took place in our geography over a century ago," Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting, per Reuters.

  • Turkey is attempting to establish "good neighborly" ties with Armenia, Erdoğan said, adding that President Biden should "turn back from this wrong step as soon as possible." He repeated a call for Turkish and Armenian historians to jointly review the events.
  • The Turkish president also said the U.S. needs to "look at yourselves" when considering genocide. "The Native Americans, I don't even need to mention them, what happened is clear," he said. "While all these truths are out there, you cannot pin the genocide accusation on the Turkish people."

Go deeper

Biden telegraphs tough moves with preemptive actions

A child protests World War I-era Armenian genocide outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington on Saturday. Photo: Samuel Corum/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden has repeatedly telegraphed tough decisions with earlier announcements designed to cushion the blow.

Driving the news: On Friday, the White House announced a generic call with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey. Less than 24 hours later, the president issued a statement labeling a World War I Armenian massacre "genocide," angering the Turks.

CDC says fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks indoors

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images

The CDC announced in new guidance Thursday that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size.

What they're saying: "If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will say at a White House press briefing.

Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid hackers nearly $5 million in ransom

Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Colonial Pipeline paid hackers linked to the DarkSide cybercrime group nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency after last week's ransomware attack, Bloomberg first reported and the New York Times confirmed.

Why it matters: The breach of the largest refined fuels pipeline in the U.S. triggered new concerns about the vulnerability of the country's increasingly digitized energy systems.

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