Recognition of Armenian Genocide by Czech Republic
Czech Republic Parliament recognizes the Armenian Genocide
26 Apr 2017 Siranush Ghazanchyan
The Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic today approved a resolution, condemning the genocide of Armenians and other religious and national minorities in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, Czech media repored. Spokesman for the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tigran Balayan confirmed the news in a Twitter post.
“The Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic condemns the crimes against humanity carried out by the Nazis during the Second World War on the Jewish, Roma and Slavic populations in the controlled territories, the genocide of Armenians and other national and religious minorities in the Ottoman Empire during World War I,” reads the resolution, which passed with 104 votes.
The resolution was proposed by MEP Robin Bönisch from the CSSD. “I think it was the Czech Republic’s duty to formally recognize the genocide. And because yesterday it was the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide, I think it was very symbolic to recognize the genocide of the Armenians today,” Bönisch said, according to iRozhlas.cz.
“I am glad that we have accepted the resolution because sometimes the truth has to be remembered. Of course, Turkey will react to it, but we have always supported human rights and today it is necessary to remind Turkey of genocide,” former Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) said, lidovky.cz reports.
President Milos Zeman also commemorated the Armenian genocide. On the occasion of the anniversary, the President sent a letter to Barsegh Pilavchian, the spiritual leader of the Armenian community in the Czech Republic.
“I agree that history is not meant to be interpreted by politicians. At the same time, however, I believe that the events that cost 1.5 million innocent people represent a tragic chapter in the history of not only the Armenian nation but also of the entire civilized world,” Zeman wrote in a letter published on Tuesday.
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Turkey Slams Czech Parliament For Armenian Genocide Recognition
April 27, 2017
Turkey strongly condemned the Czech Republic’s parliament on Thursday for recognizing the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
In a resolution unanimously passed on Tuesday, Czech lawmakers listed “the genocide of Armenians and other ethnic and religious minorities in the Ottoman Empire” among crimes against humanity committed during the First and Second World Wars. Armenia hailed the move.
“We condemn and reject in the strongest terms the resolution adopted by the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic on 25 April 2017,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also denounced Czech President Milos Zeman for standing by his view that the extermination of some 1.5 million Armenian subjects of Ottoman Turkey constituted genocide. Zeman made that clear in an April 24 letter to leaders of his country’s small Armenian community.
“Our reaction to these political actions that openly contradict historical facts as well as the basic tenets of law has been conveyed to the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Ankara,” added the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
In contrast to its reactions to Armenian genocide recognitions by other foreign states, official Ankara appears to have stopped short of recalling Turkey’s ambassador in Prague.
The Turkish ambassador to Germany was recalled for consultations immediately after the German parliament passed a similar resolution in June 2016. The Turkish envoys in the Vatican, Brazil, Austria and Luxembourg, were withdrawn for the same reason in 2015.
Czech President Says Ottoman Mass Killings Are Genocide
By RFE/RL's Armenian Service January 31, 2014
"Next year it will be 100 years since the genocide of the Armenian people in the year of 1915, when 1.5 million of Armenians died," Zeman said during Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian's official visit to Prague on January 30.
The Czech Republic, a member of the European Union and NATO, is not among the 23 countries that formally recognize the mass killings as genocide.
Zeman took office last year.
NATO member Turkey, the modern-day successor of the Ottoman Empire, strongly rejects genocide accusations.
Armenia and Turkey have no diplomatic relations.