European Parliament Calls Killings Of Armenians ‘Genocide’


The Jurist
April 16 2015

Thursday 16 April 2015 at 12:12 PM ET

[JURIST] The European Parliament [official website] approved a
resolution on Wednesday calling [press release] the massacre of
Armenians during World War I a “genocide,” while urging Armenia and
Turkey to reconcile their diplomatic relations. The resolution comes
days after Pope Francis instigated outrage [BBC report] by using the
same term in Turkey. Members of the European Parliament commended
the statement of the Pope, “honoring the century of the Armenian
genocide in a spirit of peace and reconciliation.” The Parliament has
asked Turkey to “conduct in good faith an inventory of the Armenian
cultural heritage destroyed or ruined during the past century within
its jurisdiction.” The Parliament also proposed an “International
Remembrance Day for Genocides,” so as to remind all people, and all
nations, of the right to peace and dignity.

In recent years Armenian nationals have fought with the international
community to recognize the killing of 1.5 million Armenian citizens as
genocide [JURIST news archive]. Turkey has long disputed the numbers,
alleging the killings were a result of a civil war that took place
after the collapse of the Ottoman empire. In December 2009 the European
Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled [JURIST report] that prosecutions
for denying that the killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in
1915 was a genocide are an attack on freedom of expression.

In 2009 Turkey and Armenia signed [JURIST report] a landmark accord
in Switzerland to normalize relations between the two countries and
open up borders. In 2010 a spokesperson for the US State Department
stated that the Obama administration opposed a vote [JURIST report]
before the House of Representatives on a resolution [HR 252 materials]
branding the World War I-era killings of Armenians by Turkish forces
as genocide. In September 2014 the Parliament of Greece ratified a bill
that criminalizes the denial of the Armenian Genocide [JURIST report].

You may also like