Turkey’s Foreign Ministry slammed the European Parliament’s decision to adopt a resolution that urges all EU member states and Turkey to recognize the 1915 events as ‘genocide’ and accused the resolution of mutilating history and law, Daily Sabah reports.
“The European Parliament known for contriving obstacles to the development of Turkey-EU relations aspired once again to rewrite history regarding the 1915 events,” said the statement published on Wednesday on the ministry’s official website.
The statement also said that the parliament repeated the exact mistake it had made in the past in an incompatible way with international law and exceeding its competence, recalling another resolution passed by the parliament in 1987 that recognizes the 1915 events as“genocide”.
“We do not take seriously those who adopted this resolution by mutilating history and law. The participation of the EU citizens with a rate of 42% in 2014 elections already implies the place that this Parliament occupies in the political culture of the EU,” the statement reads.
Saying that the parliament’s selective and one-sided approach on the 1915 events has the potential to harm the relations between Turkey and EU, it will also fail to bring a solution to the issue between Turkey and Armenia.
The ministry reiterated that Turkey has assiduously fulfilled its duty on the 1915 events and called on Armenia to achieve such a level of maturity as soon as possible.
During its plenary session on Wednesday the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide calling the massacre a century ago of up to 1.5 million Armenians a genocide, days after Pope Francis used the same term.
Muslim Turkey agrees Christian Armenians were killed in clashes with Ottoman soldiers that began on April 15, 1915, when Armenians lived in the empire ruled by Istanbul, but denies that this amounted to genocide.
Armenia, some Western historians and foreign parliaments refer to the mass killings as genocide.
Pope Francis sparked a diplomatic row last Sunday by calling the killings the first genocide of the 20th century. His remarks prompted Turkey to summon the Vatican's ambassador to the Holy See and to recall its own. The European Parliament sprang to the Pope's defense, commending the message the pontiff delivered at the weekend.
In the statement MEPs invite Armenia and Turkey to “use examples of successful reconciliation between European nations” by ratifying and implementing, without preconditions, the protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations, opening the border and actively improving their relations, with particular reference to cross-border cooperation and economic integration.
MEPs also commend the statement by Pope Francis of 12 April “honoring the centenary of the Armenian genocide in a spirit of peace and reconciliation”.
They welcome statements by the President and Prime Minister of Turkey offering condolences and recognizing atrocities against the Ottoman Armenians and encourage Turkey to “use the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian genocide as an important opportunity” to open its archives, “come to terms with its past”, recognize the genocide and so pave the way for a “genuine reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian peoples”.
They also ask Turkey to conduct “in good faith” an inventory of the Armenian cultural heritage destroyed or ruined during the past century within its jurisdiction.
MEPs pay tribute to the memory of the one-and-a-half million Armenian victims who “perished in the Ottoman Empire” a hundred years ago.
Finally, they propose that an “International Remembrance Day for Genocides”, be established to “recall again the right of all peoples and all nations throughout the world to peace and dignity”.