Turkey summons envoy over US vote on Armenian claims


Turkey summoned on Wednesday the U.S. ambassador in Ankara in the aftermath of a House of Representative resolution to recognize the so-called “Armenian genocide”, diplomatic sources said.

Turkish authorities expressed to David Satterfield their strong criticism of Tuesday’s vote as well as a bill threatening fresh sanctions on Turkey for its counter-terrorism operation in northern Syria, said the sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Earlier on Wednesday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry released a statement rejecting the U.S. resolution which is not legally binding. “The resolution, which has apparently been drafted and issued for domestic consumption, is devoid of any historical or legal basis,” the ministry said in a statement, referring to the events of 1915.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing the so-called “Armenian genocide”, with lawmakers voting 405-11.

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.

U.S. lawmakers also passed a bill that seeks to impose sanctions on Turkey over its Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria, that was launched to clear the region of terrorist elements and repatriate Syrian refugees in Turkey.

“We strongly condemn the adoption of a draft bill that envisages sanctions against Turkey on the basis of Operation Peace Spring in the U.S. House of Representatives today [Oct. 29],” the ministry said in a statement.

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