Erdogan Won’t Like It: Netherlands to Recognize 1915 Armenian Genocide – By RT

Rally participants wave Armenian and German flags in front of the Reichstag, the seat of the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, June 2, 2016, as they protest in favor of the approval of a symbolic resolution by Germany's parliament declaring the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces a genocide

© REUTERS/ Hannibal Hanschke
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On Thursday, the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the bicameral Netherlands parliament, approved two motions recognizing the atrocity known as the Armenian genocide of 1915.

One of the motions states that Tweede Kamer “recognizes the Armenian genocide,” while the other motion states that the Dutch minister or Dutch Secretary of State will attend an upcoming genocide commemoration in Armenia in April. 

According to ANP, the motions will likely frustrate an already tense relationship between Turkey and the Netherlands particularly as The Hague prohibited Turkish ministers from campaigning in the Netherlands for a previous Ankara referendum that successfully awarded the increasingly autocratic Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, additional executive powers in the country.

Both of motions in the Netherlands were submitted by Christin Union parliamentarian Joel Voordewind. All four coalition parties in the Netherlands are in support of the motions.

“We cannot deny history out of fear of sanctions. Our country houses the capital of international law after all, so we must not be afraid to do the right thing here too,” Dutch politician Joël Voordewind said Friday. 

In 1915, hundreds of thousands of Armenians, including women and children, were murdered by the Ottoman Empire, the precursor nation to modern-day Turkey. According to Ankara, the genocide was not premeditated, as the Turkish government continues to mount claims that Armenians were a danger because they were fighting alongside Russia, an enemy at the time.

As a result, whenever countries, blocs, organizations or prominent global citizens recognize the Armenian genocide, Ankara cries foul.

According to RTL Nieuws, when Germany officially recognized the Armenian genocide, there were what are now considered to be state-sponsored protests in Turkey.

Pope Francis, the current leader of the Catholic church, recently referred to the 1915 Armenian genocide as the first large-scale massacre of the 20th century, The event resulted in a souring of the relationship between Ankara and the Vatican.

Erdogan reviving expansionist vision? Targets Greek islands, says “we gave away the islands that you could shout across to” – By Alex Christoforou

Alexander Tsipris and Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Erdogan openly expressed his regret for the border decisions stipulated in the Treaty of Lausanne.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is exhuming some very uncomfortable and painful ghosts from Greece’s past sufferings under the Ottoman empire.

We are all well aware that Erdogan says a lot of ridiculous things, but his latest comments that reference the Dodecanese Islands, and the Treaty of Lausanne, should warrant concern for an EU weakened and hollowed out Greek state.

In a speech to regional officials in Ankara, Erdogan openly expressed his regret for the border decisions stipulated in the Treaty of Lausanne.

Erdogan lamented, and issued this veiled warning towards Greece…

“Some tried to deceive us by presenting Lausanne as victory.”

“In Lausanne, we gave away the islands that you could shout across to.”

The Treaty of Lausanne delimited the boundaries of Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey. It formally ceded all Turkish claims on the Dodecanese Islands, Cyprus, Egypt and Sudan, Syria and Iraq, and (along with the Treaty of Ankara) settled the boundaries of the latter two nations.

Turkey already illegally occupies 37% of Cyprus, and is currently embroiled in a jihadist invasion to topple Syria.

The Dodecanese Islands are located in the Aegean Sea close to the Turkish coastline..and given Erdogan’s Ottoman expansionist desires, Greece needs to take note of such comments.

Dodecanese Islands

Ekathimerini reports

Reacting to Erdogan’s comments, a Greek Foreign Ministry source remarked that “everyone should respect the Treaty of Lausanne,” noting that it is “a reality in the civilized world which no one, including Ankara, can ignore.”

The same source indicated that the Turkish leader’s comments were likely geared for domestic consumption.

While making clear his displeasure with the Treaty of Lausanne, Erdogan indicated during his speech that those who attempted a coup against Turkey in July would have imposed a far worse state of affairs.

“If this coup had succeeded, they would have given us a treaty that would have made us long for Sevres,” he said, referring to the pact that preceded the Treaty of Lausanne in 1920, abolishing the Ottoman Empire.

We are still struggling about what the continental shelf will be, and what will be in the air and the land. The reason for this is those who sat at the table for that treaty. Those who sat there did not do [us] justice, and we are reaping those troubles right now,” he said.

The stipulations of the Treaty of Lausanne (courtesy of Wikipedia)…

The treaty provided for the independence of the Republic of Turkey but also for the protection of the Greek Orthodox Christian minority in Turkey and the Muslim minority in Greece. However, most of the Christian population of Turkey and the Turkish population of Greece had already been deported under the earlier Convention Concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations signed by Greece and Turkey. Only the Greeks of Constantinople, Imbros and Tenedos were excluded (about 270,000 at that time), and the Muslim population of Western Thrace (about 129,120 in 1923.) Article 14 of the treaty granted the islands of Gökçeada (Imbros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos) “special administrative organisation”, a right that was revoked by the Turkish government on 17 February 1926. Turkey also formally accepted the loss of Cyprus (which was leased to the British Empire following the Congress of Berlin in 1878, but de jure remained an Ottoman territory until World War I) as well as Egypt and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (which were occupied by British forces with the pretext of “putting down the Urabi Revolt and restoring order” in 1882, but de jure remained Ottoman territories until World War I) to the British Empire, which had unilaterally annexed them on 5 November 1914. The fate of the province of Mosul was left to be determined through the League of Nations. Turkey also explicitly renounced all claims on the Dodecanese Islands, which Italy was obliged to return to Turkey according to Article 2 of the Treaty of Ouchy in 1912 following the Italo-Turkish War (1911 – 1912).

 

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Recognising the Armenian genocide: German MPs receive death threats, Turkey warns Germany to be ‘careful’ – BY RT

© Flickr/ mrsamisnow

Thousands of emails have been reportedly sent out by the Turkish community to German MPs, threatening the politicians and calling them names in connection with Berlin’s latest attempts to recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide.

Berlin is looking to adopt a resolution, titled “Remembrance and commemoration of the genocide of Armenians and other Christian minorities in the years 1915 and 1916” this Thursday.

The legislation, which has strained German-Turkish relations, is largely being supported by the opposition Greens in Germany, Merkel’s conservative bloc and Social Democrats.

The document has the word “genocide” in its headline and the text that reads “the fate of the Armenians is exemplary in the history of mass exterminations, ethnic cleansing, deportations and yes, genocide, which marked the 20th century in such a terrible way.”

The document also mentions the “inglorious” role of the German Empire, which was the Ottomans’ ally in World War I and did nothing to stop the atrocities.

Over 500 different Turkish organizations in Germany have sent out emails to their local MPs and journalists covering the subject, Germany’s Spiegel Online reported. Turkish citizens have also reached out privately via social media.

Some emails crossed a line, intimidating politicians and threatening the lives of journalists.

Chairman of the German Greens, Cem Ozdemir, who is of Turkish origin, was one of the MPs who received abusive messages via email, Twitter and Facebook.

“It’s always the same terms: ‘Traitor,’ ‘Armenia’s pig’, ‘son of a bitch’, ‘Armenian Terrorist’ and even ‘Nazi’,” he told ARD.

The most common letter sent out stated: “More than 90 percent of the Turkish population rightly rejects the genocide accusation and interprets it as slander.” It then warns that if the resolution is passed, it will “poison the peaceful coexistence between Germans and Turks in this country, and also in Turkey,” Spiegel reported.

Journalists covering Germany’s attempts to recognize the Armenian genocide also received threats such as: “You will be eliminated,” or “Your end will be like that of Hrant Dink [the Turkish-Armenian journalist who was shot in January 2007 by right-wing extremists in Istanbul].”

Comment: “How dare you say that some Turks 100 years ago were murderers! You should be murdered for saying that!”

Armenians also sent out letters supporting the resolution. “Recognition of the Armenian Genocide is important to prevent other genocides in the future,” the spokesman of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Tigran Balayan, told AFP.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined the conversation on Tuesday, warning Germany that if it proceeds with its Armenian genocide resolution, it would hurt the bilateral ties between the two nations.

“If Germany is to be deceived by this, then bilateral diplomatic, economic, trade, political, and military ties – we are both NATO countries – will be damaged,” Erdogan told reporters.

The parliamentary vote was originally scheduled to take place a year ago to mark the 100th anniversary of the genocide, but due to concerns over the fallout with Turkey, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s allies postponed the move.

The mass killings began on April 24, 1915, when 250 Armenian intellectuals were detained by Ottoman authorities and later executed in their capital, Constantinople, which is now present-day Istanbul.

Most of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenians were subsequently displaced, deported or placed in concentration camps, ostensibly for rebelling against the Ottomans and siding with the Russians during World War I. This affected up to 1.5 million Armenians.

Earlier this year, thousands of people around the globe took to the streets to commemorate the 1915 massacre.

Turkey – the successor of the Ottoman Empire – agrees that many Armenians were mistreated at the time, but maintains that the number of victims has been grossly exaggerated and that there was no “genocide.”

Comment: Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister joined the fray, saying: “Germany must be careful concerning its relations with Turkey.”

“I do not think that the German parliament will destroy this relationship for the sake of two or three politicians,” he added, referring to the officials who put the resolution before the Bundestag.

Turkey, the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, rejects the use of the word “genocide” to describe the mass killing of Armenians during World War One, arguing that any deaths that occurred during the relocation and deportation of Armenians were justified as the Armenians posed a threat due to their supposed sympathies towards Russia.

Sorry, ‘Turkey’, but mass murder is mass murder. Indiscriminate killing such as this is never justified.

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