LONDON — The ethnic Armenian advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has used the word ‘genocide’ in the British Parliament, sparking a wide outrage in his country.
Speaking at a debate entitled “The AKP Era in Turkey”, Etienne Mahchupian, who identified himself as an Ottoman, said he considered the 1915 events a crime of genocide.
Political circles in Turkey have criticized the advisor, reminding him of Dogu Perincek’s trial, the Turkish newspaper Aydinlik reports.
A deputy leader of Perincek’s party Vatan said at the hearing that the 1915 events did not constitute genocide.
“What Etienne Mahchupian says is not enough to define it as genocide. It’s the court that decides it. Decisions made by parliaments are political. They are not legal. But as April 24 draws near, we see an increasing pressure. Does the Government consider it a crime?” Hakki Pekin asked.
In his speech, Mahchupian stated particularly, “I have always said that I feel like more Ottoman than Armenian. I am not a nationalist, but I tend to use the term Armenian Genocide whenever I speak about the events of 1915. I believe what happened was genocide. Many may not understand, but genocide is more of a legal, and not a historical term,” Mahchupian said.