Turkey condemns Belgian vote on Armenians
Belgian parliament votes on 1915 'genocide' resolution
The Belgian parliament has passed a resolution which calls for the recognition of the 1915 events concerning Armenians as "genocide".
The resolution, submitted by the Belgian coalition government, was passed in the country's Chamber of Representatives on Thursday with 124 ‘yes’ votes and eight abstentions.
Turkey has strongly condemned the decision, saying it did not serve "the interests of Turkish-Armenian reconciliation in any way".
While the resolution, passed in commemoration of the 1915 events, describes the deaths as "genocide" it also states that the "Republic of Turkey cannot be held historically and morally responsible for the tragedy".
The move by the Belgian government comes months after the European Parliament adopted a resolution on April 15 similarly recognizing the 1915 events affecting Armenians as "genocide".
Turkey has repeatedly rejected this EU definition, claiming that Armenians died during a relocation process in 1915 during World War I, when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with invading Russians.
Armenia has demanded an apology and compensation. Turkey has officially refuted the allegations, saying that, although Armenians died during the relocations, many Turks also lost their lives in attacks carried out by Armenian gangs in Anatolia.
Turkey has called for the establishment of a joint commission of historians and the opening of archives to study and uncover what actually happened between the Ottoman government and its Armenian citizens.
Turkey condemns vote
The Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement said that the Belgian decision had "distorted the historical facts and disregarded the law".
It added: "It is difficult to comprehend that, in a period when Europe is facing serious challenges including the economic crisis, the Chamber of Representatives is spending its efforts, needed to ensure the welfare of its citizens, on an issue alien to the nature of Turkish-Belgian relations and on which there is no historical, legal, academic or political consensus, and it is acting as if it is its flag-bearer."
Last Modified: 2015-07-25 07:49:14
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