Turkey parliament declares Biden's Armenian Genocide statement 'null, void'
Turkey parliament declares Biden's Armenian Genocide declaration 'null and void'
Turkey parliament has ratified a resolution on US President Joe Biden's remarks about the Armenian genocide.
Turkey has passed a resolution calling US President Joe Biden's acknowledgement of the Armenian genocide "null and void", according to the country's official gazette.
In a watershed moment in US politics, President Biden on Saturday officially recognised the 1915 killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces as "genocide".
"We remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring," Biden said.
"And we remember so that we remain ever-vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms.
The move was immediately condemned by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and leading ministers.
Turkey’s Grand National Assembly also passed a resolution condemning Biden's comments.
Several political parties including the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Republican People's Party, the Nationalist Movement Party, and the Good Party all voted in favour of the resolution. The left-wing People's Democratic Party (HDP) voted against it.
Biden said his statement was "not to cast blame but to ensure that what happened is never repeated".
Biden made the decision "in a very principled way focused on the merits of human rights, and not for any reason beyond that, including placing blame", a senior US official said.
President Erdogan snapped back at President Biden, and in a statement shortly after.
"The US president has made comments that are groundless and unfair," Erdogan said.
"We believe that these comments were included in the declaration following pressure from radical Armenian groups and anti-Turkish circles. But this situation does not reduce the destructive impact of these comments."
As many as 1.5 million Armenians are estimated to have been killed from 1915 to 1917 during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, which suspected the Christian minority of conspiring with adversary Russia in World War I.
Turkey, which emerged as a secular republic from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, acknowledges that 300,000 Armenians may have died but strongly rejects that it was genocide, saying they perished in strife and famine in which many Turks also died.