ANKARA: Canadian MPs Recognize ‘So-Called Armenian Genocide’

Canadian MPs Recognize ‘So-Called Armenian Genocide’

ZAMAN Online
Ottawa, Ankara

The Canadian House of Commons followed in the footsteps of France and
Switzerland, reportedly approving a motion to recognize the ‘so-called
Armenian genocide’.

Despite Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham’s stern objections on the
ground that the motion would elicit negative reactions from Turkey,
which is a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally, the motion
was approved by a vote of 153 to 68.

True to Graham’s warning, Ankara harshly condemned the passage of the
motion. Ankara said that Canadian politicians are responsible for all of
the negativities stemming from the decision.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement rebuking the Canadian
House of Commons for classifying the tragic incidents between Turks and
Armenians in 1915 as “genocide”. It was emphasized that parliaments are
not obliged to reach judgments about debatable periods of history. Such
matters are best left to historians, not politicians.

Elsewhere, Graham in a letter he sent to the representatives, voiced his
concerns about the “extremely negative outcomes” the motion would cause.
After the approval he reported that the Canadian government maintains
its viewpoint on the issue, which Graham had made public on June 10,
1999. Graham also pointed out that motions are not binding on the

In his letter to the Canadian deputies, Graham writes:

“Our government is in consensus with the members of parliament regarding
the tragic incidents that took place in 1915-1923. Canada had condemned
a broad range of exile and massacres against hundreds of thousands of
Armenians, had made a call for Turkish and Armenian communities to
contribute to regional stability and have continued to encourage them
towards reconciliation and peace.”

On the other side, Turkish Embassy Undersecretary in Canada, Fazli
Corman, pointed out that many Canadian companies are competing to be
awarded Turkish tenders. He then said, “Our relations with Canada have
been deeply harmed after such a decision.”