Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday slammed the recognition by the US House of Representatives of the “Armenian genocide” as “worthless” and the “biggest insult” to the Turkish people.
His Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also suggested Tuesday’s resolution was “revenge” for Turkish actions in Syria.
Turkey has also summoned the US ambassador to Ankara.
“From here I am addressing US public opinion and the entire world: this step which was taken is worthless and we do not recognize it,” Erdogan said in a televised speech.
“In our faith, genocide is definitely banned,” he said. “We consider such an accusation to be the biggest insult to our people.”
Turkey strongly denies the accusation of genocide and says that both Armenians and Turks died as a result of World War I. It puts the death toll in the hundreds of thousands.
Tuesday’s vote was a first for the US Congress, where similar measures with such direct language have been introduced for decades but never passed.
“The US House is trying to take revenge over the agreements we signed with Washington and Moscow,” referring to accords ensuring the withdrawal of Kurdish militia from areas in northern Syria,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by Turkish media.
Erdogan said the House vote was politically motivated, and hinted that the Turkish parliament would pass a counter resolution.
He did not specify what this would include but in previous speeches he has touched on the mistreatment of Native Americans.
“A country whose history is full of the stain of genocide and slavery neither has the right to say anything nor to lecture Turkey,” he said Wednesday.
Erdogan later told reporters he had not yet made up his mind about whether to go through with a visit to the US which had been mooted for next month.
“I haven’t made my decision yet, there is a question mark,” he said.