Ankara in no rush to respond to ‘genocide’ comment by Russia, France

Ankara in no rush to respond to ‘genocide’ comment by Russia, France

Ankara in no rush to respond to ‘genocide’ comment by Russia, France

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu attended a photo exhibition at parliament on April 23. The exhibition marks the 95th anniversary of the Turkish parliament’s establishment. AA photo

Turkey, which recently recalled two of its ambassadors after their host countries labeled the killings of Ottoman Armenians as “genocide,” has signalled that it will not rush to take a similar measure against Russia and France.

Turkey’s ambassador to the Vatican was summoned to Ankara for consultations on April 12, hours after Pope Francis called the 1915 incidents involving Armenians “genocide.”

Austria was subjected to a similar reaction by Ankara, as Turkey recalled its ambassador in Vienna on April 22 after parties represented in the Austrian parliament signed a declaration recognizing the massacre of Armenians a century ago as “genocide.”

However, Turkey initially avoided any harsh reaction toward Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President François Hollande, after they described the killings as “genocide.”

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told journalists during a reception in Ankara on April 23 that he was surprised by Putin’s remarks, but the statement “will not affect the ongoing negotiations for joint projects” with Russia, including natural gas trade. 

‘Required initiatives will be taken’

Just hours before the ceremony marking the centennial anniversary, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the required initiatives would be taken concerning Russia.

“Today [April 23], we spoke with our Foreign Minister [Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu] about Russia. The required initiatives will be taken,” Davutoğlu told reporters late on April 23, when asked to comment on a statement delivered by Putin earlier on April 23 in which the Russian president referred to the killings as “genocide.”

“Russia’s and France’s presence in Yerevan casts shadow over the impartiality of the Minsk Group as well. Necessary diplomatic initiatives are being taken about them too,” Davutoğlu added, without elaboration, referring to the presence of both Putin and Hollande at the ceremony in Yerevan.

“What matters is a clear explanation of our stance to the world,” the prime minister said.

Along with the United States, France and Russia are co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group, which has been working since 1992 to mediate the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.