First Published: 2018-02-23

Turkey summons Dutch diplomat over Armenian 'genocide' vote
Dutch diplomat is called to foreign ministry in Ankara, which "condemns" vote by Dutch parliament that recognises as "genocide" massacre of Armenians under Ottoman Empire.
Middle East Online

Armenians have long sought recognition that some 1.5 million of their people were killed in a genocidal campaign in World War I by Ottoman forces

ANKARA - Turkey on Friday summoned the Dutch charge d'affaires to condemn the vote by lawmakers in the Netherlands to recognise as "genocide" the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire.

The Dutch diplomat was called to the foreign ministry in Ankara, which "condemned" the parliament's vote, a ministry official said. Thursday's vote saw MPs voting 142 to 3 in favour of the proposal that the parliament refer to the massacre as "the Armenian genocide".

Armenians have long sought recognition that some 1.5 million of their people were killed in a genocidal campaign in World War I by Ottoman forces -- ordered by Minister of War Enver Pasha and other top officials -- to wipe them out in Anatolia.

But Turkey -- the Ottoman Empire's successor state -- insists similar numbers of Muslims and Armenians were killed in a collective tragedy during the conflict and has always strongly resisted pressure to recognise that any genocide took place.

Acting Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag quickly tempered the motion, saying even though the ruling four-party coalition voted for the motion, the government will "restrain" itself.

Ankara "strongly" condemned the move, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday noting the "populist" decision was "not binding in any way" and saying it was a reflection of the increasing "racism, anti-Turkish sentiment and Islamophobia" in Europe.

Cavusoglu said the decision was "very, very wrong" and based on "limited information".

Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik also condemned the decision, describing it as "null and void" but adding, like Cavusoglu, that Ankara "took note" of the Dutch government's position.

But Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian welcomed the vote, saying Friday that the Dutch parliament had "yet again reiterated its commitment to universal values and the noble task of preventing from happening genocides and crimes against humanity".

So far, parliaments in more than 20 countries, including Germany, have voted for laws or resolutions explicitly recognising the Armenian "genocide".

The vote comes at a low point in diplomatic ties between the Netherlands and Turkey after a Dutch decision earlier this month to withdraw its ambassador.

Relations have been strained since early last year when Dutch officials stopped a Turkish minister from attending a Rotterdam rally in March. The Dutch ambassador had not had access to Turkey since March 2017.


Syria rebels prepare to quit penultimate pocket of Ghouta

Egyptians prepare to vote with Sisi reelection guaranteed

Israel ministers welcome US appointment of 'friend' Bolton

Iran slams US sanctions over hacking scheme

Iraqi widow saved recruits from slaughter by IS

Policeman dead in bombing in Alexandria

Syrians in Manbij fear Turkey, bet on US

Quick victory unlikely in Egypt assault on IS

Sisi, Egypt's undisputed leader and 'father figure'

PKK to quit northwest Iraq after Turkish threat

Iraqi asylum seeker gets life sentence for London bombing

UK says Israeli sentencing of Palestinian teenage girl "emblematic"

Sarkozy vows to clear name in Libya probe

Syria announces second evacuation deal for rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

Three dead after suspected IS gunman takes hostages in France

170,000 flee violence in Syria's Afrin

Norway proposes bill to ban full-face veils in education

Turkey says EU statements on Cyprus 'unacceptable'

Air strikes hit Ghouta despite rebel ceasefire effort

US approves $1 billion in Saudi defence contracts

Saudi to carry out nuclear power deal with or without US

In world first, flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007