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Turkey slams European Parliament call for recognition of Armenian Genocide

The Turkish Foreign Ministry denounced on Saturday a recent report adopted by theEuropean Parliament that called on European Union member states to recognize Armenian genocide at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire, Today’s Zaman reports. 

In a statement, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç called the European Parliament’s annual human rights and democracy report’s reference to the Armenian claims as “devoid of historical reality and legal basis.”

“We find these expressions extremely problematic and regret them,” Bilgiç said in the statement.

The European Parliament adopted the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 on March 12. Article 77 of the report “calls, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, on all the Member States legally to acknowledge it, and encourages the Member States and the EU institutions to contribute further to its recognition.”

Bilgiç said the European Parliament report offers a “one-sided” interpretation of an era that was “tragic” for the entire population of the Ottoman Empire with a “selective sense of justice” and that the document sets out “demands that defy logic and law.”

He said such steps hurt both Turkey-EU relations and prospects for the Turks and Armenians to build their future together and added that Ankara expected its European partners to contribute to efforts to resolve the disputes, not to deepen them.

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