Turkey Dismisses Dutch Armenian Genocide Vote

Turkey Dismisses Dutch Armenian Genocide VoteTurkey Dismisses Dutch Armenian Genocide Vote

Turkey has dismissed the Dutch Parliament’s vote to recognize the First World War killings of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire as “genocide”.

In comments made to reporters in Ankara on Friday, Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik said the move was “null and void” and that Turkey expected Dutch officials to be “more careful” about the issue, Al Jazeera reported.

His comments were coupled with a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement that described the 142 to three majority vote as “baseless”.

The Turkish response questioned the right of Dutch officials to define the events as genocide, pointing to the Netherland’s alleged role in allowing the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of Bosniak Muslims by Serbian paramilitaries.

In June 2017, a Dutch court confirmed a ruling that held the country’s UN peacekeepers “partially responsible” for the Srebrenica killings.

Turkey has long opposed international attempts to describe the killings of Armenians more than a century ago as genocide.

The country’s officials hold that killings took place on “both sides” and describe the events as a tragedy for both sides.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also summoned the Dutch charge d’affaires on Friday, the Anadolu news agency reported.

The Netherland’s formally withdrew its ambassador to Ankara in February, but Turkey had denied entry to the diplomat since March the previous year.

Tensions between the two states deteriorated during campaigning for Turkey’s 2017 constitutional referendum in which a narrow majority gave Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greater executive powers in a role, which had until then been largely ceremonial.

Dutch police prevented senior Turkish officials, including Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, from addressing campaign rallies inside the Netherlands.

The country, along with several other EU states is home to large Turkish communities, the majority of whom hold Turkish nationality and the right to vote in Turkey.

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