Biden and Erdogan
Biden and ErdoganReuters

Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Saturday it had summoned the US Ambassador to Ankara over President Joe Biden’s recognition of the 1915 massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as a genocide.

In a statement quoted by Reuters, the ministry said deputy foreign minister Sedat Onal had told US Ambassador David Satterfield that the statement had no legal basis and that Ankara “rejected it, found it unacceptable and condemned in the strongest terms.”

The foreign ministry added that Biden’s act had caused a “wound in ties that will be hard to repair.”

Biden earlier on Saturday released a statement recognizing the Armenian genocide which took place between 1915-1923, becoming the first US president to use the word "genocide" to refer to those events.

Biden on Friday informed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of his intention to recognize the genocide, in the first phone call between the two leaders since Biden's inauguration in January.

In December of 2019, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution that recognizes the mass killings of Armenians as a genocide.

In 2016, Germany recognized the massacre of the Armenians as a genocide, similarly raising the ire of Turkey which recalled its ambassador to Germany.

Earlier that year, Turkey similarly pulled its ambassador to Austria after the European nation recognized the Armenian genocide.

Russia also has recognized the Armenian genocide, angering NATO-member Turkey.

Former US President Barack Obama had chosen not to recognize the genocide, despite an election promise he made during his 2008 presidential campaign to do so.