Turkey slams Belgian PM for 'Armenian genocide' remark

Turkey slams Belgian PM for 'Armenian genocide' remark

Turkey slams Belgian PM for Armenian genocide remark

Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel speaks during a plenary session of the Chamber at the federal parliament in Brussels on June 18. AFP photo

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel's recognition of the killing of Armenians in the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 as genocide" has "distorted historical facts," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said June 20 in statement.

Michel said during a parliamentary session on June 17 that the events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 - 1917 "must be viewed as a genocide."

The Turkish Foreign Ministry slammed the comment, saying Michel's remark was "neither acceptable nor excusable."

Ankara denounced the politicization of the genocide claims.

Michel's comment came a few months after the European Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution on April 15 recognizing the 1915 events affecting Armenians as "genocide." Ankara will return the European Parliament (EP) report on Turkey, European Union Minister Volkan Bozkır has said.  

On May 29, Mahinur Özdemir, a Brussels regional MP of Turkish origin, was expelled from her party, the Humanist Democratic Center (CHD) after she refused to recognize the 1915 events as "genocide."

Turkey has already withdrawn ambassadors from Austria, the Vatican, Luxembourg and Brazil for resolutions that name 1915 incidents genocide or similar reasons, but it kept its envoy to Russia, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin using the word genocide and the Russian parliament adopting a likewise resolution on the 1915 events.