WASHINGTON – The US House of Representatives today approved a pair of measures recognizing the 1915 Armenian genocide and supporting sanctions against Turkey for its offensive in Syria, further complicating Washington’s relationship with Ankara.
With 405 votes in favor and only 11 against, the House passed a resolution recognizing and condemning the genocide that the Turkish government has always tried to deny, arguing, among other things, that allegations of genocide do not take into account that Turkish citizens were also killed in these massacres.
“Many US politicians, diplomats and institutions have rightly recognized these atrocities as genocide, including the US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the time, Henry Morgenthau, and [former President] Ronald Reagan,” said the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. House, Eliot Engel of the Democratic Party, quoted by The Hill. He said that “only by illuminating the darkest parts of our history can we learn not to repeat them.”
The project’s three main points call on the US to pay tribute to the victims of Armenian genocide, reject efforts to deny genocide, and work to educate the public about the details surrounding the atrocity.
Shortly after the text was approved in the House, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu used social networks to criticize US MPs:
Ruined big game
w/#OperationPeaceSpring. Those whose projects were frustrated turn to antiquated resolutions.Circles believing that they will take revenge this way are mistaken.This shameful decision of those exploiting history in politics is null&void for our Government&people.
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) October 29, 2019
“Ruined big game
w/#OperationPeaceSpring. Those whose projects were frustrated turn to antiquated resolutions.Circles believing that they will take revenge this way are mistaken.This shameful decision of those exploiting history in politics is null&void for our Government&people,” the Tweet said.
This genocide in the midst of World War I was recognized as such by Russia, various countries of the European Union and the World Council of Churches, among others. Earlier this year, French President Emmanuel Macron declared April 24 as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day in the country.
Although Brazil does not officially recognize such an atrocity, in 2015, the Brazilian Senate passed a resolution recognizing genocide, a decision that triggered strong tensions with Turkey at the time, prompting Ankara to summon the Turkish ambassador in Brasilia for consultations.
Along with at least 1.5 Armenians killed, over two more million Christians, including Greeks and Assyrians, were ethnically cleansed by Turkish forces.