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Turkey denounces Czech recognition of Armenian genocide

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Ankara, April 27 (CTK) – The Turkish Foreign Ministry denounced the Czech Chamber of Deputies decision to recognise the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and also criticised President Milos Zeman who called it one of the worst atrocities of modern time yesterday.

The Foreign Ministry denounces and rejects the resolution passed by the Chamber of Deputies of the parliament of the Czech Republic on April 25, 2017 in the sharpest possible way, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

Zeman is not about to change his attitude to the massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire over the criticism by Turkey, Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told journalists.

Zeman has been holding his views for long, Ovcacek said, adding that the Turkish statement could be expected.

During his visit to Armenia last June, Zeman paid respects to the victims of the massacre of Armenians in 1915 by Ottoman Turkey at the genocide memorial where he laid a wreath and visited the museum of genocide.

He also called the massacre a genocide during his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan’s visit to Prague in January 2014.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry is also disappointed at Zeman’s letter of April 24, 2017, sent to the Armenian diaspora in his own country, with regard to the events in 1915 because it contains serious inconsistencies, it added.

The reaction to these political moves that sharply clashes with historical experience and basic legal principles was passed to the ambassador of the Czech Republic in Ankara, the Foreign Ministry said.

It contradicts his own words when he politically evaluates the events of 1915, it added, speaking about Zeman.

In his letter sent to Barsegh Pilavchyan, the Armenian spiritual leader in the Czech Republic, Zeman wrote that history should not be interpreted by politicians because they often use it to promote their political interests.

“At the same time, however, I believe that it is impossible not to remember the events that cost 1.5 million innocent people their lives and that represent a tragic chapter of the history of not only the people of Armenia but also the whole civilised world,” Zeman wrote.

At the close of his letter, he expressed sympathy to the people of Armenia and the Armenian minority in the Czech Republic.

In its Tuesday resolution, the Czech Chamber of Deputies condemned the Armenian genocide together with the Nazi crimes against humanity inflicted upon the Jewish, Slav as well as Roma populations.

Turkey, the successor to the Ottoman Empire, refuses to interpret the events as genocide. It says the information about 1.5 million killed Armenians is exaggerated and that the dead were victims of a civil war, not genocide.

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