The Latvian Parliament’s decision to recognize the 1915 events as “genocide,” is an attempt that is null and void, the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated Thursday, strongly condemning and rejecting the decision.
Saying that the 1915 events do not meet any of the conditions required for the use of the term "genocide" within the framework of international law, the ministry in a written statement said that the decision violates the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, as well as the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) 2013 and 2015 decisions which state the qualification of discussion of the 1915 events.
“This decision contradicts and puts forth double standards with Latvia’s statement made on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of its occupation, on its own historical events, saying that approaching historical events in an honest and fair manner is a precondition of international relations,” it added.
Turkey urged the Latvian Parliament to take a step back from this decision instead of serving the agenda of some circles which are using history to create hostility.
United States President Joe Biden called the events of 1915 "genocide" on April 24, breaking the long-held tradition of American presidents refraining from using the term.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Biden's remarks "unfounded, unjust and contrary to the facts about the painful events that took place more than a century ago."
Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey objects to the presentation of these incidents as "genocide," describing them as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia as well as international experts to tackle the issue.
On the same day, the Turkish Defense Ministry also made a statement on the issue, saying: "We reject and do not recognize the Latvian Parliament's decision on the genocide."
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar held a videoconference with the Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Latvia, Artis Pabriks. During the call, views were exchanged on bilateral, regional, defense and security relations, along with NATO-related topics.
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