Parliament recognizes Armenian genocide
- The House of Commons has reversed a long-standing policy and passed
a resolution denouncing the Turks for committing genocide against
Armenians in 1915.
vote passed easily, 153-68.
motion said: "That this House acknowledges the Armenian genocide
of 1915 and condemns this act as a crime against humanity."
decades consecutive Canadian governments have dodged the sensitive
issue by calling what happened in eastern Turkey a "tragedy,"
stopping well short of referring to the events as "genocide."
1915, during the First World War, Turkish troops put down an Armenian
uprising. Armenians say about 1.5 million people were killed by
the Ottoman Turks, during a brutal eight year campaign.
has always fought attempts by Armenians and international human
rights organizations to have the events declared a genocide. Previously,
Ankara has warned countries contemplating similar action that there
would be negative consequences. In some cases business contracts
have been held up or denied.
2001 France backed the Armenian case. Ankara responded by freezing
official visits to France and temporarily blocking French companies
from competing for defence contracts.
The U.S. dropped a similar resolution a year earlier after the White
House warned it could hurt U.S. security interests.
Wednesday's vote in Parliament, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham
issued a statement saying "Canada has had friendly and co-operative
relations with Turkey and Armenia for many years. The Canadian government
is committed to make these relationships even stronger in the future."
Turkish Embassy in Ottawa says it is drafting a response.
Written by CBC News Online staff.