Serj Tankian is expressing his gratitude to President Joe Biden for officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
On Saturday (April 24), the Armenian-American System of a Down frontman thanked the president on social media for officially recognizing the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire during the early 20th century as “genocide,” something past American leaders have shied away from over fears of straining U.S. ties with Turkey.
“Thank you to President Joe Biden for properly recognizing the #ArmenianGenocide today,” Tankian wrote on Instagram. “This is extremely important but only a milestone towards the long road of justice ahead with Turkey and its imminent need to do the same and make amends towards the descendants of 1.5 Million Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians systematically slaughtered by its Ottoman Turkish ancestors.”
Tankian, who lives in Los Angles, was born in Lebanon. His family moved to the U.S. when he was a child, but his grandparents all fled the Armenian Genocide. “Today, I will say thank you to the US and all those who have fought hard for this statement over the years,” he added.
On Saturday, which marked the 106th commemoration of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, Biden became the first sitting U.S. president to officially recognize the systematic deportation and slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in World War I. It’s estimated that 1.5 million Armenians were killed between 1915 and 1923. The Turkish government continues to deny that a genocide occurred.
Over the years, System of a Down — whose members are from Armenian heritage — have strongly advocated for the United States government to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Last year’s reignited conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan provoked SOAD to raise their voices in support of their homeland by simultaneously dropping “Genocidal Humanoidz” and “Protect the Land,” the group’s first new music in 15 years. The charity tracks have raised more than $600,000 for the Armenia Fund.
See Tankian’s tweet about President Biden’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide below.