Turkey condemned a decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as genocide, saying on Wednesday it would damage the "critical" relationship between the NATO allies.
Zachary Goelman reports.
Turkey's president on Wednesday (October 30) condemned a resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives officially recognizing the Armenian genocide.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the bill would damage ties between the NATO allies.
(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: "We would consider such an accusation as the biggest insult against our people.
Hopefully, Turkish Parliament will immediately give the rightful response to this step that is against historical realities and that has been taken completely with domestic concerns.
I have seen the preparations for this." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CLERK REPORTING TITLE OF THE RESOLUTION: "Resolution affirming the United States record on the Armenian genocide." The fraying relations come after the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday (October 29) voted on a measure calling the mass killing of ethnic Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War a genocide.
Turkey stridently rejects the allegations of genocide.
It acknowledges that many Armenians were killed, but said they died in clashes with Ottoman forces.
Turkey's foreign ministry on Wednesday summoned the U.S. ambassador to lodge a protest.
The House of Representatives also backed legislation calling on President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on Turkey over its offensive in northern Syria.
Turkey sent armed forces into Syria to seize territory from Kurdish fighters.
Critics say Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the area effectively stranded the Kurds - U.S. ally - and gave Turkey the green light to invade.
Trump announced he would sanction Turkey for the invasion, then lifted sanctions after Ankara agreed to a cease-fire in Syria.
President Erdogan, who is due to meet Trump at the White House in two weeks, said he had not decided yet whether the trip was going ahead.
Asked whether he would make the visit after recent developments, Erdogan said the issue remained "a question mark."