On Tuesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H. Res. 296 recognizing the Armenian Genocide and condemning Turkey’s “campaign of genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians…”
The historic vote was 405 to 11 and is seen as a rebuke to Turkey, which has spent nearly a century denying there was a genocide.
Additionally, in a strong rebuke of Turkey and President Erdogan, the House voted 403-16 to require sanctions on Turkey for its invasion of northeast Syria.
“If we ignore history, then we are destined to witness the mistakes of the past be repeated,” the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said, urging support for the resolution on Tuesday. “Recent attacks by the Turkish military against the Kurdish people are a stark reminder of the danger in our own time.”
The California Democrat Adam Schiff, a sponsor of the resolution, said in a statement: “The House declared that it will no longer be party to the cause of genocide denial. This is a vote I have fought for 19 years to make possible, and one that tens of thousands of my Armenian American constituents have worked, struggled, and prayed for decades to see.”
Now, the next step is for Senate to bring the Armenian Genocide resolution and sanctions legislation against Turkey to the floor for a vote.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu immediately condemned the vote, calling it a “shameful decision of those exploiting history in politics (it is) null and void for our government and people.”
He said the resolution was Congress’ “revenge” for Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria.
Historians say an estimated 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Empire — the predecessor to modern-day Turkey — between 1915 and 1923.