ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that decisions such as the resolution adopted on Wednesday by the European Parliament (EP) calling on Turkey to recognize the killings of Armenians during the final years of the Ottoman Empire as “genocide” is a reflection of hostility against Turkey and reiterated his view that the resolution is null and void for Turkey, Today’s Zaman reports.
In televised remarks given in Kazakhstan, Erdogan mentioned the EP’s resolution that stresses the need for Turkey to recognize “the Armenian genocide,” so as to pave the way to “genuine reconciliation.”
“These kind of decisions made by exploiting Armenians are a reflection of the hostility against Turkey. All of these decisions are also null and void for us,” Erdogan said.
He also accused the EP of being unfair in regards to history. Erdogan said those who make decisions against Turkey by using the 1915 events as a pretext have no concern about preserving Armenians’ rights and sharing their pain.
“Those who try to charge Turkey by using the pains of the past as a pretext are being unfair to history above all. Those who try to make Turkey accept things like genocide, that by no means took place, as if it is an absolute reality, are working in vain,” Erdogan said. He added that the decisions taken into other parliaments are null and void for Turkey.
The Turkish president also called on Armenians to leave the issue to historians and build a common future in the light of common interests and history.
Ankara reacted just as strongly after Pope Francis referred to the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians as “the first genocide of the 20th century” during a Sunday mass in St. Peter’s basilica. It recalled the Turkish ambassador to the Vatican in protest.