VIENNA – Turkey’s backlash against European countries that call Ottoman Turks’ 1915 massacre of Armenians genocide will complicate Ankara’s ambitions to join the European Union, the commissioner in charge of EU enlargement told a newspaper on Thursday.
“The uncompromising and aggressive” attitude towards those states that consider the WW1-era mass killing of Armenians as genocide “complicates” Ankara’s EU bid. The Union’s Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Johannes Hahn told the Austrian daily Standard, noting the fact that elections will be held in Turkey in June in the context of the country’s strong reactions.
“In some parts of the country and in certain parts of the population that may be popular, but what I’m worried about are the long-term consequences. This sows the seeds of anti-European and anti-Western attitudes which, from today’s point of view, makes (Turkey’s) membership (in the EU) very difficult,” Hahn said.
The European Parliament this month also backed a motion that called the massacre genocide, days after Pope Francis provoked fury in Turkey by using the same term.
Recently, the Austrian parliament adopted a declaration of heads of caucuses of all six parliamentary parties about the Armenian genocide, to which Turkey reacted by recalling its ambassador for consultations and threatening with the cooling of relations.