World, Europe

Dutch parliament recognizes 1915 Armenian ‘genocide’

Motion passes with 142 votes; Turkish-founded Denk Party opposes move

22.02.2018
Dutch parliament recognizes 1915 Armenian ‘genocide’

By Abdullah Asiran

THE HAGUE

The Dutch parliament on Thursday passed a motion supporting the Armenian allegations about the events of 1915, terming it as "genocide".

The motion was passed with 142 votes, while only three votes of Turkish-founded Denk Party opposed it.

Joel Voordewind, member of parliament from the coalition party Christian Union (CU), had put forward the motion.

Also, a motion for representation of the Netherlands at the ministerial level at the commemorative ceremonies in the Armenian capital Yerevan on April 24 was also accepted by the majority.

Tunahan Kuzu, the leader of Netherland's Denk, a party founded by ethnic Turkish lawmakers, said the Dutch parliament’s decision to recognize the 1915 events as “genocide” will be exploited in the upcoming local elections on March 21.

Kuzu told Anadolu Agency Turkey and the Netherlands enjoyed “very good relations” over the last 400 years but this had been now undermined recently. 

He added the same motion was rejected by the same parliament around four months ago. 

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

Ankara does not accept the alleged "genocide", but acknowledges there were casualties on both sides during World War I.

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as “genocide” but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

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

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