Turkey Recalls Austrian Ambassador Over Genocide

Turkey recalls its ambassador to Austria, after parties represented in parliament recognize the massacre of Armenians as genocide.

Elad Benari,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Reuters

Turkey on Wednesday announced that it is recalling its ambassador to Austria, after parties represented in parliament signed a declaration recognizing the massacre of Armenians a century ago as genocide, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

A Foreign Ministry statement protested against the move, saying Austria had no right to "accuse the Turkish people of a crime."

The statement said ambassador Hasan Gogus was being recalled to Ankara for consultations, according to AP.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks, an event widely viewed by scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide.

The move against Austria comes after a similar move was made against the Vatican, after Pope Francis publicly recognized the genocideangering Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

Last Thursday the EU Parliament also voted to recognize the genocide, which prompted a clarification from Parliament President Martin Schulz, who told Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that he "understands" Ankara's negative reaction to the vote.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has chosen not to recognize the genocide, despite an election promise he made during his 2008 presidential campaign.




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