Turkish speaker slams US vote on Armenian claims

Turkey’s parliament speaker criticized a resolution passed in the U.S. House of Representatives recognizing the so-called “Armenian genocide” as well as a bill backing sanctions against Turkey.

“The decision taken by the U.S. House of Representatives does not have any importance. Moreover, it also has no legal consequence,” Mustafa Sentop told reporters at the Turkish parliament.

“However, I want to say this move can harm Turkey-U.S. relations,” he noted.

Sentop’s remarks came after the Turkish parliament condemned the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The parliament said, it ”regretfully condemns and rejects the U.S. House of Representative’s adoption of some thesis on so-called Armenian genocide and turning it to a decision despite the objection of some members who have wisdom and conscience.”

Sentop underlined that unlike the U.S. resolution, the decision taken by the Turkish parliament was unrelated to U.S. history.

He noted that if Turkish lawmakers were to discuss the “dirty and bloody history” of the U.S., it could not be occupied with “any other activity”.

The U.S. House voted on the bill in reaction to Turkey’s anti-terror operation in the northern Syria.

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

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

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

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