ANKARA, Turkey (A.W.)—Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Ministry strongly condemned the Czech Parliament for adopting a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide, in a statement on April 26.
“We condemn and reject in the strongest terms the resolution adopted by the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic on April 25, 2017,” read part of the statement.
The Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic—the lower house of the Czech Parliament—unanimously approved a resolution on April 25, condemning the Armenian Genocide as well as the genocide other religious and national minorities in the Ottoman Empire during WWI.
The resolution was proposed by Parliamentarian Robin Bönisch who is a member of the Social Democrat Party (CSSD) and the Head of the Czech-Armenian Friendship Group.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s statement also added that they were disappointed by Czech President Milos Zeman’s letter addressing the Armenian Diaspora in the Czech Republic on April 24. Zeman, who has always been a strong advocate of Armenian Genocide recognition, sent a letter to Archimandrite Barsegh Pilavchian, the spiritual leader of the Armenian community in the Czech Republic on the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the genocide.
Czech Parliamentarian Robin Bönisch said that the adopted resolution proves that the Czech Republic cannot be blackmailed, Armenia’s News.am reported. He added that he is very content with the relations between Armenia and the Czech Republic hopes that this resolution becomes a step towards upholding the republic’s policy of defending human rights.
“In reality, this is the first time that members of the Chamber of Deputies have used the word genocide,” European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD/Armenian National Committee of Europe) Communications Director Bedo Demirjian told the Armenian Weekly. “Now, the resolution has to pass the upper house and then be confirmed by the President,” added Demirjian.
Two years earlier, on April 14, 2015, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament unanimously passed a resolution on the occasion of the Armenian Genocide Centennial.
Turkey has not recall its Ambassador from Prague—something it has done when other states have passed Armenian Genocide resolutions.
Below is the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s statement in its entirety.
Press Release Regarding the Resolution Adopted by the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic
We condemn and reject in the strongest terms the resolution adopted by the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic on April 25, 2017.
We are also disappointed by President Zeman’s letter of April 24, 2017 addressed to the Armenian diaspora in his country with regard to the events of 1915, as it includes serious inconsistencies.
President Zeman, while stating in his letter that history should not be interpreted by politicans, and exposing the fact that politicians abuse history for their political interests, and that the past should first and foremost be analyzed and interpreted by historians; contradicts his own words as he makes political assessments with regard to the events of 1915.
Our reaction to these political actions that openly contradict historical facts as well as the basic tenets of law has been conveyed to the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Ankara.