Turkey is furious at the U.S. Congress. The House of Representatives has voted to officially recognize the mass killings of Armenians back in 1915 as ‘genocide.’ Turkish officials have rejected the vote as null and void.
CGTN’s Michal Bardavid reports.
In a symbolic move, on Tuesday the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution to officially recognize the killings of Armenians during World War One as “genocide”.
The vote passed overwhelmingly with 405 to 11 in favor yet is not legally binding and no date has been set for a vote in the U.S. Senate.
Turkey slammed the move – and rejected the vote.
“We would consider such an accusation as the biggest insult against our people. Hopefully, Turkish Parliament will immediately give the rightful response to this step that is against historical realities and that has been taken completely with domestic concerns,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey accepts that Armenians were killed in their hundreds of thousands during the Ottoman Empire years, but categorically rejects the label “genocide”. In previous years, Ankara has offered to establish a joint commission comprised of historians from both sides to study the events of 1915.
Until now, Congress has resisted pressure from activists to condemn its NATO ally – Turkey has questioned the timing of this US vote.
“The reasons for the two decisions made against Turkey, is that we have disturbed the game that was being played in Syria. There was a goal to establish a terror state there. We disturbed the game that was being played with the steps we took and the moves we made,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Turkey’s offensive in Syria that was launched on October 9th against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces – was condemned by many U.S. officials.
Also on Tuesday the U.S. House of Representatives approved a legislation aimed at imposing sanctions on Turkey over its offensive into Northern Syria. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry stated that this contradicted an agreement signed between Turkish and US officials regarding the SDF withdrawal on October 17.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Washington on November 13 to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump.