Turkey Condemns Czech Parlament Resolution on Armenian Genocide

Prague Morning

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has called the Czech Senate resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide “null and void.”

“The fact that the decision was taken in an environment with few members in the Senate at a time when the whole world was struggling with the coronavirus pandemic reveals the insidious mentality behind it,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said, “it is not possible to impose more than a historical discussion on the events of 1915, as determined by Articles 173 and 231 of the 2015 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, which was repeated by the second decision in 2017.”

“Attempts to define a historical issue in the interests of politics and certain groups are unacceptable,” it said.

“We call on those who want to present a one-sided view of history to consider President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s letter that expresses an understanding of sharing the common grief sent to Turkey’s Armenian Patriarch on the occasion of April 24.

“We invite the Czech Parliament to respect the provisions of the Lausanne Peace Treaty, international court decisions and the historical and current sources of international law,” it said.

It noted that Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said the decision does not reflect the attitude of the Czech government.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry welcomed the adoption of the resolution, noting that the unanimous decision of the Czech Senate is a “major contribution to the restoration of historical justice and respect for the memory of the victims.”

“It is also a key message in preventing genocides and new crimes against humanity,” the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said.

In April 2017 the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament had approved a resolution, condemning the genocide of Armenians and other religious and national minorities in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

Turkey objects to presenting the 1915 incidents as “genocide,” rather calling them a tragedy in which both Turks and Armenians suffered casualties in the heat of World War I.

Turkey’s position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with the invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia as well as international experts to examine the issue.

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