Turkish Foreign Ministry slams ‘genocide’ vote in Dutch parliament

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Turkey has slammed as “null and void” a motion passed by the Dutch parliament urging the government to recognize the World War I era killings of Armenians as genocide, Agence France-Presse reported.

The non-binding motion passed in the lower house of the Dutch parliament on Thursday.

“This decision … aimed at rewriting history based on political motives is null and void,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement late on Thursday.

The death of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of Ottoman forces between 1915-1917 are formally recognized as genocide by a number of countries, including France and Russia, but Turkey rejects the description.

Ankara insists there was no genocide and that both sides committed atrocities during the war.

In 2018 Dutch lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to adopt the term.

But the Dutch government has refrained from making it its official policy, saying it would only do so after the term was adopted into international law by a UN resolution or an international court.

Thursday’s vote in the Dutch parliament urged the government to move ahead on its own.

The Dutch motion was launched by the centrist Christian Union party and opposed by the Denk party, which represents immigrants’ rights.

“It is more urgent than ever for countries to speak clearly about the past in order to promote reconciliation,” Christian Union parliamentarian Joel Voordewind said.

Ankara and The Hague have had tense relations, especially after Turkish ministers were banned from campaigning among Turkish nationals living in the Netherlands during Turkey’s constitutional referendum campaign in 2017.

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