Friday, February 23, 2018

Dutch parliament recognizes Armenian genocide, escalating row with Turkey

Dutch parliament recognizes Armenian genocide
The Dutch parliament has voted to recognize as genocide the 1915 massacre of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire. The move deepens a diplomatic row between the Netherlands and Turkey, which has seen envoys recalled.

The motion, which was passed with the support of all major parties, comes after the Turkish government summoned the Dutch charge d’affaires in Ankara on Saturday to express its anger at the motion.

Turkey’s foreign ministry on Thursday condemned the motion’s approval, saying that it would not be legally binding or valid.

Armenia has long sought recognition for the killings as genocide, with the country saying it left some 1.5 million Armenians dead. The Turkish authorities refuse to recognize the events, which took place at the height of World War I, as genocide, arguing that there were atrocities on both sides.

As many as 29 countries, including Russia, Canada, much of the EU, and South American countries, as well as 48 out of 50 US states, have recognized the Armenian genocide.

The motion's passage comes amid an increasingly tense relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey. Earlier this month, the Dutch Foreign Ministry formally withdrew its ambassador to Ankara and announced that it would not accept the appointment of a new Turkish ambassador.

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