Joël Voordewind
MP Joël Voordewind - Dutch politician

Turkey Summons Dutch Chargé d’affaires over Armenian Genocide Motions


AMSTERDAM and ANKARA (Combined Sources) — Turkey summoned the Dutch chargé d‘affaires to Ankara on Saturday, February 17, to express its unhappiness with a pair of proposed bills that would see the Netherlands recognize as genocide the 1915 killing of as many as 1.5 million Armenians.

The four Dutch governing parties have expressed support for two proposals in the lower house of parliament by the conservative Christian Union party which are due to be debated in the upper house in the coming weeks. One recognizes the deaths as genocide and a second calls for a Dutch official to attend the country’s formal genocide remembrance day on April 24.

A majority of MPs backed a campaign by Christian Union MP Joël Voordewind.

The bills risk further souring relations between Turkey and the Netherlands.

The relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey is already tense, since the Netherlands refused Turkish ministers access to the country to campaign for a 2017 referendum that gave President Tayyip Erdogan more power.

Talks to repair relations between the two countries have broken down and the Netherlands on February 5 officially recalled its ambassador to the country.

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Nearly a dozen other EU countries have passed similar resolutions to that proposed in the Netherlands. French lawmakers officially recognized the Armenian deaths as genocide in 2001.

Voordewind said the Netherlands should take a stand as the home of the institutions of international law in The Hague. “We are acknowledging history,” he said. “That is not the same thing as casting aspersions as Turkey has done towards the Netherlands.”

(Reports from and Reuters were used in this story.)

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