Turkey rejects EU pressure on killings

Turkey's prime minister has rejected a European Parliament resolution calling on Ankara to recognise the mass killings of Armenians from 1915 to 1923 as genocide.

    Armenians every year mark mass killings by Ottoman Turks

    "That resolution is not binding. It does not matter whether they took such a decision or not. We will continue on our way," private CNN-Turk television quoted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying on Wednesday during a visit to Abu Dhabi.

     

    Turkey is scheduled to open accession talks with the EU on Monday.

    The EU lawmakers said in their resolution that recognition of the 1915-1923 killings as genocide should be a prerequisite for Turkey to join the European Union.

    Armenians across the world have been commemorating the anniversary of what they brand as genocide on 24 April each year.

    Ottoman Turks

    Armenians say that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by

    Ottoman Turks around the time of the first world war, which Armenians and several nations around the world recognise as the first genocide of the 20th century.

    Turkey denies that the killings were genocide, saying the toll is inflated and that Armenians were killed in civil unrest as the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

    Speaking to Turkish reporters in Abu Dhabi, Erdogan also reiterated his view that the EU has to admit Turkey or risk being branded a "Christian club".

    "The EU ... has to prove that it is not a Christian club. To say 'the EU is not a Christian club' will not save it from becoming a Christian club," he said.

    "What will the EU achieve by admitting Turkey? It will become a bridge between the 1.5 billion strong Muslim world and the EU. It will start an alliance of civilisations," he added.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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