ANKARA — Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly condemned on Wednesday a U.S. congressional resolution recognizing the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, calling it the “biggest insult” to the Turkish people.
“This step taken has no value,” Erdogan said of the resolution overwhelmingly passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. “We do not recognize it.”
“We regard such an accusation as the biggest insult made to our nation,” he told lawmakers from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party.
Erdogan also condemned a separate House bill calling for U.S. sanctions on Turkey over its military operation in Syria. The House passed it on Tuesday shortly after adopting the Armenian genocide resolution by 405 votes to 11.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador in Ankara, David Satterfield, over the two resolutions. The ministry denounced them in separate statements issued overnight. It said the passage of the genocide bill was a “grave mistake.”
“We reject the resolution H.R. 296 entitled ‘Affirming the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide’ that is adopted today by the U.S. House of Representatives as expressing the sense of the latter,” the ministry said in a statement, referring to the events of 1915.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slammed the move by the U.S. House of Representatives, saying the decision was “null and void.”
In a tweet, Cavusoglu said Turkey had thwarted a “big game” with its offensive into northeastern Syria and that the move by the House was aimed at taking revenge for the operation.
“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 and people,” Cavusoglu said on Twitter.
The Turkish parliament on Thursday also condemned the U.S. House of Representatives’ passing of the Armenian genocide resolution. “The Turkish Grand National Assembly regretfully condemns and rejects the U.S. House of Representative’s adoption of some thesis on so-called Armenian genocide and turning it to a decision despite the objection of some members who have wisdom and conscience,” said a resolution of the Turkish parliament approved on Wednesday.
The resolution was penned by deputy chairs of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the opposition Good (IYI) Party.
It said the U.S. House’s decision was an initiative to darken the historical realities.
Also rejecting the U.S. House’s bill seeking sanctions on Turkey, the resolution said: “In the eye of us, the meaning of the U.S. House of Representatives’ threat of sanctions is just an attempt to blackmail,” the statement said.
“Turkey has never submitted to any blackmail and […] we sharply refuse this decision,” it added.