Armenian wreaths at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, April 18th 2015

European Parliament urges Turkey to recognise 1915 Armenian 'genocide'

Posted on on 18 April 2015
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The European Parliament has entered the latest diplomatic row over the mass killings of Armenians during the First World War, calling on Turkey to recognise them as genocide.

MEPs backed a resolution urging Turkey to use the centenary to “come to terms with its past, recognise the genocide and so pave the way for a genuine reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian peoples”. 

They expressed support for Pope Francis's comments, at an Armenian commemorative service in Rome on April 12th 2015, describing the deaths of up to 1.5 million Armenians as the 'first genocide of the 20th century.'

MEPs also welcomed statements by the President and Prime Minister of Turkey "offering condolences and recognising atrocities against the Ottoman Armenians."

But their resolution of Aprll 15th provoked an angry response from Turkey, which insists that "no authentic evidence" exists to support claims of a premeditated Ottoman campaign of killing in 1915.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry accused MEPs of repeating "anti-Turkish clichés of Armenian propaganda."

A statement said: "Members of the European Parliament may better encounter their own past and remember especially their roles and responsibilities in the most abhorrent calamities of World War I and World War II, well before dealing with the 1915 issue."

The full text of the European Parliament resolution can be read here:

The Turkish Foreign Ministry's response is here:

Images: Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News