Turkey says Belgian PM’s remarks on Armenian ‘genocide’ neither acceptable nor excusable

Published 20.06.2015 14:27
Updated 20.06.2015 14:29

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel's recognition of the 1915 events as a "genocide" "distorted historical facts", the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Saturday in statement.

Michel said during a parliamentary session on Wednesday that the events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire between 1915-1917 "must be viewed as genocide".

The Turkish Foreign Ministry slammed the comment, saying Michel's remark was "neither acceptable nor excusable".

Ankara denounced the politicization of the genocide claims.

Michel's comment came a few months after the European Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution on April 15 recognizing the 1915 events affecting Armenians as "genocide".

On May 29, Mahinur Özdemir, a Brussels regional MP of Turkish origin, was expelled from her party, the Humanist Democratic Centre, or CHD, after she refused to recognize the 1915 events as "genocide".

The events of 1915 took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with invading Russian forces and revolted.

The subsequent relocation of Armenians in eastern Anatolia resulted in numerous casualties. Turkey does not dispute that there were casualties among both Armenians and Turks during this time but rejects terming the events as "genocide".

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