EP Resolution on Armenian Genocide Reflects Racism: Turkey PM
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu censured the European Parliament over the adoption of a resolution which urges Ankara to acknowledge its historic responsibility for the massacre of Armenians during World War I, and pave the way for “a genuine reconciliation” with Yerevan.
Davutoglu said on Friday that such a statement took no notice of the suffering of Muslim Turks at the time, and runs the risk of fomenting hatred towards other non-Christian religious groups.
"The European Parliament should not take decisions that would result in hatred toward a certain religion or ethnic group if it wants to contribute to peace," the Turkish prime minister noted.
"This issue is now beyond the Turkish-Armenian issue. It's a new reflection of the racism in Europe," Davutoglu said.
He further argued that the torments of Muslim Turks during World War I are being forgotten amid the focus on Armenians.
"Turks and Armenians have been living together for 1,000 years. We are ready to improve neighborly relations with Armenia, but we are against this suggestion that 'Turks' pains should be forgotten'. We are eady to share the pain, but we won't bow," Davutoglu stated.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), in a resolution put to the vote on April 18, urged Armenia and Turkey to “use the centenary of the Armenian genocide” to normalize diplomatic relations, open their border and pave the way for economic integration.
The MEPs also asked Ankara to “use the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian genocide as an important opportunity” to open up Turkish archives, “come to terms with its (Turkey’s) past,” recognize the genocide and so pave the way for a “genuine reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian peoples.”
Armenians claim up to 1.5 million Armenian Christians were systematically slaughtered in eastern Turkey through mass killings, forced relocations and starvation, a process that began in 1915 and took place over several years during World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, Press TV reported.
Ankara rejects the term “genocide” and says 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians, and at least as many Turks perished between 1915 and 1917, and they were the casualties of World War I.