Turkey protests approval of bill in US House
(Turkish Daily News) - A U.S. House panel approves a move to pass a resolution calling for formal American recognition of World War I-era Armenian killings in the Ottoman Empire as genocide, leaving Turkey stunned and protesting and Erdoрan trying to tone it down
Stunned by a decision taken by a House panel to recognize the Armenian genocide, Turks protested the move by the United States Congress by holding demonstrations throughout the country, whereas Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoрan adopted a softer stance.
"Politics does not accept sentimentalism," said Erdoрan when asked about possible retaliatory moves against its NATO ally.
Though cautious about the talk of measures in retaliation, the Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson to the ministry late Thursday to convey Turkey's reaction to the adoption of the controversial resolution. A government statement, meanwhile, warned the United States that bilateral ties could be severely harmed if the bill passes on the House floor.
"The committee's approval of this resolution was an irresponsible move, which at a greatly sensitive time will make relations with a friend and ally, and a strategic partnership nurtured over generations, more difficult," the statement said.
"Our government regrets and condemns this decision. It is unacceptable that the Turkish nation has been accused of something that never happened in history," said the statement, describing the move as "irresponsible."
Initial reaction to the bill's approval came from President Abdullah Gul late Wednesday denouncing the vote and characterizing it as unacceptable, the Anatolia news agency reported. "Unfortunately, some politicians in the United States ignored appeals for common sense and once again moved to sacrifice big issues for petty games of domestic politics," he said. "This is not an action that suits and benefits the representatives of a great power like the United States," Abdullah Gul added.