Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the US ambassador for a dressing down Wednesday, following two votes in the House of Representatives relating to Turkey.
Turkey called in US Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield in response to the two House measures, which condemn the Armenian Genocide and call for sanctions on Turkey over its latest offensive against Syrian Kurds.
On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives backed two separate resolutions tied to Turkey, both of which passed by wide margins with strong bipartisan support.
First, the House passed a measure drafted by Adam Schiff (D-CA) which recognizes the mass-murder of Armenians during World War I as an act of genocide, and condemns the Ottoman Empire for the killings. The measure passed by a margin of 405 to 11 in the 435-member House.
Later, the House voted 403 to 16 to call for sanctions on Turkey over its offensive in Kurdish regions of northern Syria. The bill stalled in the Senate, however, after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned against rushing to sanction a NATO ally.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected the House’s vote to recognize the killing of Armenians as an act of genocide.
"We reject the resolution H.R.296 entitled 'Affirming the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide' that is adopted today by the U.S. House of Representatives as expressing the sense of the Latter," the ministry said.
"The resolution itself is also not legally binding. As a meaningless political step, its sole addressees are the Armenian lobby and anti-Turkey groups," the ministry added.
Armenians have long sought international recognition for the 1915-1917 killings in the Ottoman era as genocide, which they say left some 1.5 million of their people dead.
Turkey -- the Ottoman Empire's successor state -- strongly rejects that the massacres, imprisonment and forced deportation of Armenians from 1915 onward amounted to a genocide, dubbing them instead the “incidents of 1915”.
In 2016, Germany recognized the massacre of the Armenians as a genocide, similarly raising the ire of Turkey which recalled its ambassador to Germany.
Earlier that year, Turkey similarly pulled its ambassador to Austria after the European nation recognized the Armenian genocide.
Russia also has recognized the Armenian genocide, angering NATO-member Turkey.