ROME – Turkish President Recep Erdogan has said that Turkey would ignore the European Parliament’s vote later on Wednesday regarding the 1915 mass killings of Armenians.
Pope Francis recently described the killings as genocide.
“Whatever decision the European Parliament takes on Armenian genocide claims, it will go in one ear and out the other,” said Erdogan ahead of the vote.
According to the draft resolution, the European parliament will ask Turkey to continue its efforts to recognise the Armenian genocide, to accept the past, and to open its archives.
The text states that in the eyes of Europe, the Ottoman Turks committed genocide against the Armenians between 1915 and 1917.
Still, the resolution is not as harsh as some adopted in the past, in which Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian genocide was explicitly laid down as a condition for the country’s EU accession.
This stipulation is not made in the new resolution, which welcomes Turkey’s recent condolences to Armenia and its recognition that atrocities have been committed against the people.
The European Parliament’s document encourages the Turks to take advantage of the commemorations for the centenary of the genocide to create the conditions for genuine reconciliation.
The U.S. has called the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians a “historical fact”, reiterating that the clarification of that historical period is in everyone’s interest – Turkey, Armenia and the U.S.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said that: “nations are stronger and they progress by acknowledging and reckoning with pretty painful elements of their past”.
Meanwhile, a group of Turkish hackers claimed to have penetrated the official website of the Holy See on Monday night, taking it offline for several hours.
According to the specialist publication ‘Techworm’, the attack was an unofficial Turkish retaliation against the words of the Pope.
The group also left a message on the hacked website, pledging to continue its attacks. (AGI/NAN)