European Parliament Adopts Bill on Genocide Centennial, Calls on Turkey to Reconcile with Past

BRUSSELS—During its plenary session, the European Parliament today adopted a resolution on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) reported. The European Council was represented by Kalinina Lukaševica and the European Commission by Kristalina Georgieva, vice-president of the European Commission and commissioner for the Budget and Human Resources.

The resolution on the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide, which was supported by all political groups in the European Parliament, stated:

“Whereas an increasing number of member states and national parliaments recognize the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire;

“whereas one of the main motivations of the European unification movement is the will to prevent the recurrence of wars and crimes against humanity in Europe…

“whereas the importance of keeping the memories of the past is paramount, since there can be no reconciliation without the truth and remembrance;

“Pays tribute, on the eve of the Centenary, to the memory of the one-and-a-half million innocent Armenian victims who perished in the Ottoman Empire; joins the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide in a spirit of European solidarity and justice; calls on the Commission and Council to join the commemoration.”

In calling on its member states to recognize the Armenian Genocide, the resolution referred to the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013, adopted on March 12, 2015, and the European Union’s policy on the matter.

The resolution further stated that “the European Parliament calls on Turkey to come to terms with its past by recognizing the Armenian Genocide and thus pave way for a genuine reconciliation.”

It also mentioned the European Parliament’s resolution of June 18, 1987, in which inter alia it recognized that the tragic events that took place in 1915-17 against the Armenians in the territory of the Ottoman Empire represented a genocide as defined in the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, and further condemns all occurrences of crimes against humanity and genocide, strongly deploring any attempts of their denial.

Today’s resolution further called for the establishment of an “International Remembrance Day for Genocides” and stressed that the timely prevention and effective punishment of genocide and crimes against humanity should be among the main priorities of the international community and the EU.

An unprecedented number of members of the European Parliament took the stage and showed their solidarity to the Armenian nation and support of the resolution, and specifically called what befell the Armenians a genocide. Pope Francis’ message of reconciliation and peace was also mentioned and included in the final version of the resolution.

Kaspar Karampetian, the president of EAFJD, said, “Armenians all over the world welcome this resolution in this Centennial year of the Armenian Genocide. The European Union  is a union of values, dignity, and human rights, and we expect  all countries willing to join it, to have reconciled with their past, have friendly relations with their neighbors, and look forward to a brighter and peaceful future without [such] crimes, without genocide. We expect Turkey come to terms with its past and acknowledge the crime it has committed against the Armenian population 100 years ago, with all its consequences.”

Karampetian stressed the need for the EU Council and Commission to show more courage, to acknowledge the crime with its proper name, and to not hide behind EU member countries that have not yet recognized the Armenian Genocide.

Karampetian also said that Armenians support those democratic forces in Turkey that challenge the Turkish state’s denial policy, and push for recognition of the crime of genocide against the Armenians. He highlighted the well-coordinated and organized work of the Republic of Armenia’s Permanent Mission to the EU, the Armenian National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Relations, and the European Friends of Armenia, whose efforts led to having this resolution adopted.

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  1. “The European Union is a union of values, dignity and human rights, and we expect all countries willing to join it, to have reconciled with their past, have friendly relations with their neighbors and look forward to a brighter and peaceful future without the ultimate of crimes, without Genocide.”

    Very eloquently put!!

  2. Even after 100 yrs justice may yet be done. We need to work with the Turkish intellectuals, liberal forces and democrats. It is good for Turkey.

  3. Absolutely this is good for Turkey. Some or many Turks may not think so at the moment, but as the old saying goes, ‘The Truth will set you free.’.

  4. The President of Turkey’s reaction to the resolution before the EP is “in one ear out the other”. This is arrogant, ignorant and unfeeling. Does anyone imagine that you can reason with this mentality ? Humanity must prevail.

  5. Erdogan is a pathological liar. He is not diierent than a common criminal who will deny commiting the crime. Unfortunately, Turkey is defying the international law and telling them you canot get me no matter the overwhelming evidences against Turkey. There is no international policeman who could apprehend and put Turkey behind bars. Turkey knowsthat. Turkey is not Iraq, Afganistan or Yugoslavia or Iran and the US will not take any action against it, unfortunately lofty sounding principals are sacrificed for so called national interest.

  6. Let’s not kid ourselves. Votes for or against us usually have more to do with the voters’ feelings for or against Turkey and its leaders, and their accession to the EU than w the truth. We needed Europe in 1918-1923, and it failed us.

  7. Annie is correct: the absolute worst we can do, especially now with this current momentum of support, would be alienating anyone partial to our cause, but ESPECIALLY those TURKS who are not brainwashed or actively working against justice. It is the Turkish intellectuals precisely who can help this plight of justice from within the country – this would be the hardest thing for any Turkish government to fight.

    And yes, it is good for them AND for the Turkish government no less than it is good for Armenians and regional and global peace.

  8. “the European Parliament calls on Turkey to come to terms with its past by recognizing the Armenian Genocide and thus pave way for a genuine reconciliation.”

    Good for the European Parliament for standing up for what’s right. It would be my wish, however, that the Europeans take their own advice about “coming to terms with the past.” Even today there are statues of King Leopold II in Brussels. Not a typo. In 2015 in Brussels and other parts of Belgium there are statues of a man who killed upwards of 10 million people in the Congo Free State. I guess we Turks aren’t that different from the Europeans after all. Criticize Turkey all you want, we deserve all of it, but don’t throw stones in glass houses. And don’t think just because your crimes don’t have a ‘genocide’ label attached to them that you don’t need to face your own history in an honest way.

    • {“ I guess we Turks aren’t that different from the Europeans after all”}

      Sorry friend: you Turks are very different from Europeans.
      I don’t know if any Europeans are denying their bloody colonial past.
      Some may not be too forthcoming.
      And some may cling to vestiges of their colonial past.
      But I am not aware of any European countries that threaten to deport uninvolved civilians, because some countries recognize what that given country has done in their colonies, like Pres Erdogan did today: do you ?
      Do you know any European states that still threaten the existence of their former colonies ?
      Do you know any young Europeans who celebrate (by singing and dancing) the murder of unarmed women, children, and babies – like your ethnic kin did on April 24, 2010 outside Turkish Embassy, Washington D.C. ?
      After which the 50 or so young Turkish-Americans were invited inside to have tea with the Turkish ambassador ?
      (read: their despicable, disgusting, vile behaviour officially approved by your ethnic kin).

      As to Belgium.

      From the book “The Age of Apology: Facing Up to the Past (edited by Mark Gibne)” Chapter 12.
      {“The Belgian state offered its apologies to Rwanda and Congo after two commissions of inquiry in the Belgian parliament…….
      The apologies are linked to particular facts or events, namely the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the assassination of Congo’s first Prime Minister, but both are widely interpreted, in Belgium as well as in Rwanda and Congo, as affecting Belgian dealing with its colonial past, as well as with postcolonial realities”}.

      Belgian humanitarian aid to DRC*.
      2000 DRC $12.1 million (Democratic Republic of Congo)
      2001 DRC $ 8.2 million
      2002 DRC $12.2 million
      2003 DRC $10.3 million
      2004 DRC $18.7 million
      2005 DRC $17.7 million
      2006 DRC $35.4 million
      2007 DRC $29.3 million
      2008 DRC $58.9 million
      2009 DRC $30.1 million
      2010 DRC $31.9 million
      2011 DRC $33.3 million

      Of course no amount of money will bring back the dead nor fully compensate for the enormous damage that Belgium caused in Congo.
      Not even close.
      And the fact that Belgians still have the statue of Leopold on public display is despicable.
      But at least Belgium is doing something.
      And Belgians are not running around the world attacking 3rd parties for something Belgians did…unlike you know who.
      And Belgium is not trying to suffocate and wipe out the remnants of Congolese from the remaining 10% of their ancestral lands, unlike you know who.

      btw: as of 2014, population of DRC was about 77 million.
      How many Armenians do you estimate are left in Turkey ?

      One last thing, friend:
      Please read the article by your fellow Turk, editor of
      [We have corrupt DNA] (By BELGİN AKALTAN)
      You may change your mind.

  9. In this genocide there were also 750,000 Assyrians, 950,000 Greeks and 200,000 Yazedi’s totaling over 3.5 million innocent lives. It wasn’t just Armenians and Christianity was mainly targeted to be annihilated as well as strategies to occupy fertile lands that belonged to indigenous people. Assyrians are currently facing another genocide in the hands of ISIS and they have decreased to less than 3 million globally. Since 2003 Assyrians have gone from 1.3 million to less than 400,000 total. The world stands still as we face another current genocide. God bless the Assyrians Armenians Greeks and Yazedi’s who suffered a horrendous genocide in the hands of the Turks and the Kurds. Personally, my 2 great grandfathers I lost to Kurds, one was crucified and the other was stabbed to death and their lands were stolen. Welcome to our lives!

  10. I welcome this step and hope they will include the Assyrians and Greeks in the bill.The Syrian/Assyrian have suffered the same.In my village they killed in one day more than 40 Assyrians.

  11. My mother lost two children during the genocide-one a baby boy butchered by the Turkish sword and the other by starvation on Arab land.I am 87 years old. I am the last of my mother’s children. When my mother, Pepron was in her 80’s, my mother asked me to take her to a psychiatrist. Her memories haunted her. Will the Turks admit before I die?

  12. To read proof of Armenian Genocide
    see youtube & facebook “To Turkish Mothers: the Armenian Genocide”

  13. never once i ve heard eu parliment advising france to recognize algerian genocide or belgium to kongo. Eu likes to preach to turks because it makes them feel high :) this is good move right move but done with bad faith my criticism is directed at that and should not be misunderstood

    • Turks who are confused about the concept of ‘genocide’ need to study up on it.
      There are invasions, colonizations, mass murders, massacres, ethnic cleansing, unintended deaths due to war, war crimes – and genocides.

      Turks who attempt to whitewash the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by their ancestors, by desperately clinging to ancillary atrocities committed by other countries, need to study up on the facts.

      [Algeria asks Turkey to drop French genocide talk]*
      {The Algerian prime minister has asked Turkish officials to refrain from bringing up Algeria’s history during the period of french colonization, delivering a strong message that Algeria is disturbed by the mention of its history in a quarrel between Turkey and France.
      Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia on Saturday asked Turkey to stop referring to its history as part of a problem that Turkey and France have, The Associated Press reported.
      Ouyahia said countries have the right to defend their interests, but they have no right to “make the blood of Algerians their business,” Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Saturday. “We say to our [Turkish] friends: Stop making capital out of Algeria’s colonization,” the news agency quoted the prime minister as saying. Ouyahia further accused Turkey of having provided material support to France since it was a member of NATO during the Algerian War.}

      Belgium and Congo were addressed in my other post above.

      btw: Alevi Turk [Anton], any comment about Sunni Turks massacring up to 90,000 Alevi Kurds in Dersim 1938/1939 ?


    • As of 2014,population of Algeria: 39 million.
      As of 2014,population of Democratic Republic of Congo: 77 million.
      1914 population of Ottoman Turkey: about 25% Christians (Armenian, Assyrian, Greek) and 75% Muslim (Turks, Kurds).
      2014 population of Turkey: 99.8% Muslim (Turks, Kurds and forcibly Islamized Christians).

      Genocidal Turks.

    • Avery says:
      “There are invasions, colonizations, mass murders, massacres, ethnic cleansing, unintended deaths due to war, war crimes – and genocides. ”

      Irrespective of the characterization of the word, all were crimes no less. So it begs the question, will the European Parliament now use its auspices to pass bills recognizing the litany of historical crimes committed by its own members? Somehow I think not.

      RVDV’s earlier comment raising this exact point was valid. If parliaments are inclined to make declarations based on historic crimes, then do so without prejudice or selective morality. Start by declaring King Leopold II as a war criminal and keep going until every European historical crime is acknowledged and is accounted for. Fair enough.

  14. Yerpor patzvi toornern houyso, when the doors of hope open and winter is gone ,,, this is the spring of our hope as the son of a survivor my ability was limited but I made sure that my children will succeed in what I failed to do, sell our cause to the world in the most professional manner all that hard work did not fail, my children and yours achieved , imagine what their children could do?

  15. Facts remain exactly as they are of course. One has to think very hard to find ONE case of EU resolving a conflict or making peace. These are the same people who wringed their hands helplessly and watched genocide rage through Bosnia, in the Middle of Europe. Their reaction to what happened in Karabag is also noteworthy. Of course, how can one ignore how they helped solidify Cyprus division and insured eternal tension there. Yes, they have the reverse Midas touch, and it is at work again. Kudos!

  16. Thank God for the EP,France and all other EU countries that stood up for justice, even after 100 years. Better late than never.
    I hope all others who have not acknowledged the Armenian Genocide, despite all the evidence, will now pick courage from this example and stand up and be counted in the comunity we call human beings. Turkey has made a habit of “solving problems” by genocides, the Armenian, Greek, Assyrian Kurdish etc. All genocides should be acknowledged and perpetrators dealt with to stop such atrocities happening again.

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