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GreekReporter.comEuropeSweden angers Turkey with 'genocide' vote

Sweden angers Turkey with ‘genocide’ vote

222A diplomatic row is brewing between Sweden and Turkey after Sweden’s parliament yesterday voted to describe the 1915 killing of Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and Syrians by Turkey as ‘genocide’.
This morning, Sweden’s ambassador to Turkey was called to the Turkish foreign ministry to explain the decision. Yesterday, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Sweden and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s prime minister, cancelled a planned visit to the Scandinavian country.
According to historians, up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottomans around the time of First World War, but Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, claiming that the death toll has been inflated and those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.
The vote in Sweden has divided the country’s political parties ahead of a general election later this year and is seen as a victory for Sweden’s centre-left opposition. The vote was passed by 131 votes to 130 after four centre-right MPs voted with the centre-left.
Gulan Avci, a member of the centre-right Moderate Party who is of Turkish decent and voted against her own party, said it was “time for people who have suffered so long to obtain redress”.
Hans Linde, a member of the Left Party, said it was not the role of politicians to write history, but that they should “call things by their right names”.
Abdullah Gül, Turkey’s president, yesterday said that the resolution approved by the Swedish parliament “did not have any credibility”. Zergün Korutürk, Turkey’s ambassador to Sweden, said she felt “very, very betrayed” by the Swedish parliament.
Members of the Swedish government warned that the vote, which came a week after the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee approved a similar resolution, could affect trade between the two countries.
Carl Bildt, the foreign minister, said that he regretted the parliament’s decision: “It is wrong to politicise history in this way and it will worsen Sweden’s possibilities to work for reconciliation between the two sides.”
According to Bildt, CHP, Turkey’s main opposition party, has now demanded an end to ongoing reconciliation talks between Turkey and Armenia. “This is exactly the type of consequence I feared,” Bildt said. “[The vote] is hijacked by elements hostile to reform in both Turkey and Armenia.
But Bildt said he did not believe that the Swedish parliament’s vote would affect Turkey’s EU membership bid.
(source: world news)

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