Turkish parliament declares U.S. Senate Armenian genocide bill ‘null and void’

Turkish Parliament approved late Friday a joint declaration condemning Thursday’s U.S. Senate resolution recognising the Armenian genocide and calling it null and void.

The declaration was adopted by the votes of the lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), its ally far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the nationalist Good Party.

The declaration, which was published on the Saturday edition of Turkey’s Official Gazette, said Turkey strongly condemned and rejected the recognition of the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

The Senate resolution which symbolically recognises the events of 1915 as genocide, followed a similar resolution approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in October amid bipartisan anger against Turkey’s military operation in north Syria. 

Turkish parliament’s declaration said the Senate resolution had no legal value and was the outcome of a dirty political game. "The decision of the U.S. Senate is null and void in terms of history and law as well as our esteemed nation and the global community,” it said.

Turkish lawmakers said that their U.S. counterparts in fact did not care about the events of 1915, but the issue was brought to the Senate floor whenever U.S. interests and Turkey’s policies contradicted.

“The U.S. Senate has to live with a burden of dirty conscience that it laid on its history,” the parliament’s statement said. 

It said that the Turkish nation would act with joint determination and solidarity against the U.S. Senate’s move, adding that Turkey had the right to respond to the decision within the framework of international reciprocity.

Most international scholars and, with the addition of the United States, 30 countries recognise the events starting in 1915 as a genocide. Turkey, however, admits that massacres took place but rejects the term genocide.