Turkey cancels PM Erdogan's visit to Sweden, recalls ambassador

Turkey cancels PM Erdogan's visit to Sweden, recalls ambassador

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's scheduled visit to Sweden was cancelled following approval of the resolution on Armenian allegations in Swedish Parliament, Anadolu Agency reported.

Prime Ministry Press Center issued a "government statement" and said Erdogan was to attend Turkey-Sweden Summit on March 17, 2010.

The Center also said Turkish Ambassador to Stockholm Zergun Koruturk was recalled to Ankara for consultations.

The government statement said, "Turkish government expresses regret and strongly condemns approval of a resolution in the Swedish Parliament which alleged that some peoples were committed to "genocide" during the last period of the Ottoman Empire."

"Turkish government rejects this decision lacking basis. It is obvious that the decision was made taking into consideration some political interests for the elections that would take place in Sweden in September 2010," the statement said.

The statement noted, "the resolution does not correspond to the close friendship of our two nations," Erdogan said in a statement on his website.

"Indeed it is Turkey making a call to face with the history honestly. Those refraining from facing with history are actually afraid of discussing their claims reciprocally and revealing the facts working with scientific methods. Those who live with this fear exploit the foreign parliamentarians who are after small political interests, and exploited by them. Inclusion of the allegations regarding the last period of the Ottoman Empire to the agenda of the Swedish Parliament is a consequence of such an exploitation," it said.

The statement said the duty of the parliaments and politicians are not to make judgements on history but to construct the future by drawing lessons from the past, "those who think that historical facts and views of Turkey for its own past will change with the decisions that were made on the basis of political interests of foreign parliaments, are in a serious delusion."

Swedish Parliament on Thursday approved a resolution on Armenian allegations regarding 1915 incidents.

The resolution including recognition of Armenian allegations was approved with 131 votes against 130.

Turkey strongly rejects the "genocide" allegations and regards the events as civil strife in wartime which claimed lives of many Turks and Armenians.

Turkey and Armenia signed two protocols on October 10, 2009 to normalize relations between the two countries. The protocols envisage the two countries to establish diplomatic ties and open the border that has been close since 1993. Turkey and Armenia also agreed to take steps to operate a sub-commission on impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archive to define existing problems and formulate recommendations, in which Armenian, Turkish as well as Swiss and other international experts would take part. However, on January 12, 2010, the Constitutional Court of Armenia declared a decision of constitutional conformity on the protocols. Turkey thought the fifth article of Armenian Constitutional Court's verdict regarding the protocols was against the target and basis of the protocols.

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