Mr. Speaker, more than a century ago, one of the most horrific genocides in history took place as the world was fixated on the Great War raging in Europe. The Ottoman Empire and its successor state, the modern Republic of Turkey, have always denied the atrocities they committed against the Armenian people.

For too long, our own government has played along with Turkey. We have allowed politics to blind us from the mass murder of 11⁄2 million innocent Armenians by the Ottoman Turks.

We must officially recognize this horrific crime to prevent similar events from occurring again. This also means pressuring the Turks to acknowledge their past sins.

Turkey, under dictator Erdogan, has proven to be an oppressor of his own people. Today, we see him adopt similar brutality against the Kurds that was applied to the Armenians more than a century ago.

This behavior is unacceptable by a NATO member and a supposed American ally.

And that is just the way it is.