EU's Schulz told Turkey he understood reaction to genocide vote: sources
ISTANBUL - Reuters
AFP PhotoEuropean Parliament President Martin Schulz told Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on April 17 he "understands" Ankara's reaction to a vote calling the 1915 mass killing of Armenians a genocide, sources in the prime minister's office said.
In a telephone call, Schulz also said the vote was made in his absence, the sources, who declined to be identified, said. There was no immediate comment from Schulz's office.
The European Parliament backed a motion on April 15 to call the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces a genocide, days after Pope Francis triggered fury in Turkey by using the same term.
Armenia and Armenians in the diaspora say 1.5 million were killed by Ottoman forces in a targeted campaign to eradicate the Armenian people from what is now eastern Turkey.
Turkey takes a sharply different view, saying hundreds of thousands of both Turks and Armenians lost their lives as Ottoman forces battled the Russian Empire for control of eastern Anatolia during World War I.
President Tayyip Erdoğan said even before the vote took place that he would ignore the result.