Members of the U.S. house of representatives adopted a resolution to recognize and condemn the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. As follows from the document published on the website of the Congress and introduced by Democrat Adam Schiff, voted for the resolution 405 congressmen, against – only 11.
“Genocide cannot be ignored, regardless of whether they are in the Ottoman Empire in the last century, the Third Reich in the middle of the last century, or in Darfur,” said the Republican Gus Bilirakis, played an important role in the promotion of the document in the house of representatives.
Although the resolution is not legally binding, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu in Twitter, called the decision shameful congressmen and considered his attempt “to use history for political purposes”. In turn, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinian welcomed the decision of the house of representatives of the U.S. Congress, calling it a “bold step in the direction of truth and historical justice. “He will bring comfort to many descendants of survivors of the Armenian genocide” – wrote the Prime Minister on Twitter.
The head of Department on public relations of presidential administration of Turkey Fahrettin Altun said that the decision of U.S. legislators about the Armenian genocide and sanctions against Ankara directly contrary to the strategic relations between the two countries and will hurt them.
“The vote on the Armenian resolution in the House of representatives of the United States Congress in a state of extreme concern to all who value the Turkish-American relations. Those who voted in support of the resolution, will be responsible for the deterioration of strategic relations [between Ankara and Washington] in that troubled region,” he said on Twitter, adding that “the politicization of history for the sake of fulfilling political tasks is not acceptable.” The official representative of the Turkish President Ibrahim Kalin, in turn, urged the U.S. to “first look at its history, a bloody past America supported the terrorist organizations PKK and ASALA”.
Similar resolutions were introduced in Congress before, but still they are not brought to a vote. As acknowledged by Congress, expedited review of the document associated with the Turkish operation in Northern Syria. They endorsed the imposition of sanctions against persons involved in the conduct of the Turkish military operation, and against the country itself. Here is an additional reason was the purchase by Turkey of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems s-400.
“The Department of state must inform the President and the Congress on other Turkish officials involved in invasion, as well as on foreign citizens deliberately provided Turkey goods, services and technology for defense purposes, which could be used in the invasion of Northern Syria, says the document, which is quoted by TASS. – To these foreign persons are also subject to sanctions related to freeze their assets and ban on entry [to the USA]”.
The congressmen also oblige American leader “to impose financial sanctions against a large Turkish state Bank” Halkbank, as well as against “any other financial institutions which, according to the state Department, deliberately facilitated significant transactions with the participation of Turkish armed forces or the defense industry of Turkey involved in the invasion.” In mid-October, the U.S. Department of justice filed charges against Halkbank in violation of us sanctions against Iran, fraud and money laundering.
The American foreign Ministry, Ministry of Finance, and intelligence be obliged to provide detailed information about assets, investments, business interests and incomes of Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan and members of his family. The Washington administration shall transmit to the Congress a report on the consequences of the invasion of Turkey into Syria for national security” of the United States. In addition, the American authorities will not “provide the government of Turkey for goods, services and technology for defense purposes” if they can be used during operation in Syria.
In connection with the purchase of s-400 lawmakers ordered the Washington administration to apply restrictions, provided that adopted in the United States in 2017, the law CAATSA. This legal act implies, in particular, the introduction by the US government sanctions against those States that Russia conclude major contracts for the procurement of its weapons and military equipment. “The purchase by Turkey of the Russian s-400 should be considered a major transaction as described in the corresponding paragraph [CAATSA]”, – stated in the bill. In this regard, not later than 30 days after the adoption of this initiative, the President “shall impose five or more sanctions measures” specified in the relevant paragraph CAATSA, against the government of Turkey.
In the late XIX – early XX century in the Ottoman Empire carried out the persecution of Armenians, which reached its peak in 1915. Then it was destroyed more than 1.5 million Armenians. Armenia calls the events genocide. The day of memory of victims of the Armenian genocide marked on April 24: on this day in Istanbul 100 years ago, was detained and killed more than 800 representatives of the local intellectuals of Armenian origin.
The fact of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey is recognized by many States, by the European Parliament and the world Council of churches. Meanwhile, Turkey has traditionally rejected the accusations, claiming that the victims of the 1915 tragedy was both Armenians and Turks. Ankara is extremely sensitive to criticism from the West on this issue.
So, in 2015, Turkey has recalled its Ambassador to Vienna after Austrian Parliament adopted a Declaration condemning the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. Prior to this, Turkey recalled its Ambassador from the Vatican after Pope Francis used the word “genocide” speaking about the mass killings of Armenians.
In 2016, Turkey recalled/a> its Ambassador in Berlin to protest against the fact that the lower house of the German Parliament (Bundestag) “the overwhelming majority” recognized the Armenian genocide. In Ankara, the decision called a “historic mistake.” The state Duma adopted in 1995, the resolution “On condemnation of the Armenian genocide 1915-1922 years in its historic homeland – in Western Armenia.”
At the same time, some countries refuse to recognize the Armenian genocide for fear of worsening relations with Ankara. So, the Israeli Knesset on 14 February rejected a bill on recognition of the Armenian genocide. Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely said that Yerevan had sent a parliamentary delegation to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in 2015, but the country will not take a formal position on this issue because of its complexity and diplomatic consequences, as well as a pronounced political nature.