US resolution on 1915 events may damage bilateral ties, Turkey warns

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 30.10.2019 11:38
Updated 30.10.2019 16:56

Turkish officials condemned a resolution adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives on 1915 events, saying that the move will significantly damage bilateral relations between the two countries in a turbulent region at such a critical period.

Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun criticized the resolution as he urged Armenians to avoid exploiting history for political interests.

Altun said the resolution violates U.S. policy as it was passed as the two countries are trying to reach a $100 billion trade volume.

Referring to the resolution as "deeply troublesome," Altun said politicians who voted in favor of the resolution will be responsible for damaged strategic ties between the two countries.

"Politicization of history for political needs is unacceptable," Altun said, adding that Turkish and Armenian people have lived peacefully in the same region for hundreds of years.

Altun referred to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's condolences message to Turkey's Armenian community, noting that he expressed Turkey's willingness to establish a joint historical commission to investigate what happened during World War I.

"We call on our Armenian brothers and sisters not to make their history a tool of domestic political considerations," Altun said.

Altun also expressed Turkey's determination to continue to fight terrorist organizations, saying that that the resolution, which lacks strategic vision and breaks away from realities, will not weaken the country's fight.

"Turkey will continue to express its legitimate security concerns in all international platforms and continue to fight against all types of terrorism to ensure international and regional safety and peace," he added.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın also condemned the resolution, calling it an exploitation of history for political purposes.

"Those who accuse Turkey of genocide should look at their own history and the bloody history of the PKK and ASALA terrorist organizations that they support," Kalın said.

Turkish politicians also criticized the resolution. Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized American politicians for displaying Turkey as an "enemy," as he noted that Turkey has no problems with the American people.

"Any sanctions that will be imposed on Turkey will not bear any results," Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that all Turkish people will oppose it.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli also slammed the adoption of the resolution, saying that there is no explanation for accepting such a "deviant" resolution.

The U.S. House of Representatives adopted resolution H.R.296 entitled "Affirming the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide" and a bill that imposes sanctions on Turkey's anti-terror operation in northeastern Syria.

Turkey recognizes that some Armenians, who sided with invading Russians to revolt against Ottoman forces, died in eastern Anatolia in 1915 following the relocation process. Turkey acknowledges that both sides suffered casualties during World War I, while describing it as a tragedy for both sides. Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint historical commission to shed light on the incidents, but Armenia has refused to do so.

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