EU Parliament adopts resolution calling on Turkey to recognize Armenian genocide

Members of the European Parliament (MEP) observe a minute of silence as they commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armenian mass killings, at the EU Parliament in Brussels April 15, 2015. (Reuters / Francois Lenoir )
The EU Parliament urges Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide and pave the way for “a genuine reconciliation” between the two nations. Prior to the vote on a resolution, the Turkish President said Ankara would disregard any of Brussels’s decisions.

In the resolution put to the vote on Wednesday, MEPs called on Armenia and Turkey to “use the centenary of the Armenian genocide” to normalize diplomatic relations, open the border and pave the way for economic integration.

Using “examples of successful reconciliation between European nations,” the EU parliamentarians voted that Armenia and Turkey “without preconditions” should ratify and implement, “the protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations, opening the border” as well as improve their relations, “with particular reference to cross-border cooperation and economic integration.”

The EU parliament has encouraged Ankara to “use the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian genocide as an important opportunity” to open its archives, “come to terms with its past” as well as recognize the genocide. By doing so, Turkey would pave the way for a “genuine reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian peoples,” the MEPs said.

The European Parliament has welcomed the statements of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in their offering of condolences and recognizing the atrocities as a step in a right direction.

It has also been proposed to establish an “International Remembrance Day for Genocides” to “recall again the right of all peoples and all nations throughout the world to peace and dignity”

READ MORE: Turkey in spat with Vatican over Pope's comments on Armenian genocide

Turkey was outraged by Pope Francis’ statement in which the pontiff honored the 100th anniversary of the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks and called it “the first genocide of the 20th century.”

Prior to the vote, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that Ankara would disregard “whatever decision” Brussles passes.

“I cannot say what the European Parliament will decide today, but whatever decision it passes, for us it will go in one ear and out the other,” Erdogan said in Ankara. “It is impossible for Turkey to accept this accusation…the stain of genocide on our nation is out of the question.”

Scholars and historians estimate that as many as 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of the First World War.

Turkey, which does not admit the killing were genocide and insists that Christians Armenians were slayed in war, accused Pope Francis of spreading hatred and recalled its ambassador to the Vatican for consultation.

In its Wednesday resolution, Brussels commended the Pope’s statement “honoring the centenary of the Armenian genocide in a spirit of peace and reconciliation”.