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Turkey: Opposition, govt jointly condemn EU parliament

Turkish parliament speaker, ruling AK Party and opposition parties, CHP and MHP, have jointly condemned European Parliament’s resolution on the 1915 events

Turkey: Opposition, govt jointly condemn EU parliament


In a rare move, Turkey’s ruling party and two main opposition parties have come together to issue a joint statement to strongly condemn the European Parliament’s recent resolution terming the 1915 events “genocide.”

The statement was released Thursday evening on behalf of the Turkish parliament speaker, ruling Justice and Development, or AK Party and opposition parties, Republican People's Party, or the CHP, and Nationalist Movement Party, or the MHP.  

"We consider the European Parliament's resolution extremely unfortunate and regrettable, and strongly condemn this partial approach which is against the raison d'etre of the European Parliament, which is the idea of establishing peace, tolerance and a common future instead of war and conflict," the statement said.

It said the move again proved the European Parliament's selective and one-sided approach to a period which was tragic for all peoples of the Ottoman Empire.

"This inappropriate resolution is insensitive to all the pain suffered by all peoples in Anatolia during the First World War, only to glorify the pain of the Armenians," it said, adding that as such, it was an "unacceptable" and "void" decision.

The statement also said that with this resolution, the European Parliament acted against the law and almost took on a judicial role on behalf of the European Union, and directed unfair accusations against Turkey that were not consistent with historical facts.

"The fact that the parliament placed a judgment on a very serious crime such as genocide, by acting as a historian or international court, demonstrates a disregard for human rights, justice, history and law," it said.

Although it was a humanitarian duty to share the pain of the Armenians during WWI, just like the pain suffered by other citizens of the Ottoman Empire, it was totally unacceptable to exploit this pain for political purposes and hostility against Turkey, it said.

"Despite all our calls, the European Parliament chooses to deepen the problem instead of encouraging the Armenian side to start a dialogue regarding an objective and scientific analysis into the incidents, which further deepens the chasm between the two nations," the statement concluded.

Earlier Thursday, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party, or CHP, said: "We have a consensus on the issue…We can prepare a joint statement on the latest resolution of European Parliament and sign it; there is no problem," he added.

Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that the European Parliament, "which is known for contriving obstacles to the development of Turkey-EU relations aspired once again to rewrite history regarding the 1915 events, as it has attempted to do so previously.

"This aspiration has resulted in a preposterous text of resolution dated April 15, 2015 which literally repeats the anti-Turkish clichés of the Armenian propaganda," the statement said.

The European Parliament first recognized the 1915 events as "genocide" in a 1987 resolution, which the parliament reiterated Wednesday in a vote - on the centenary of the 1915 events.

The vote came a day after the European Union urged Turkey and Armenia to normalize their relations following a spat prompted by remarks of Pope Francis over the 1915 events.

Turkey's official position against allegations of "genocide" is that it acknowledges the past experiences were a great tragedy and that both parties suffered heavy casualties, including hundreds of Muslim Turks.

Ankara agrees that there were Armenian casualties during World War I, but says that it is impossible to define these incidents as "genocide.

The Turkish government has repeatedly called on historians to study Ottoman archives pertaining to the era to uncover what actually happened.

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