UPDATES WITH CONDEMNATION OF TURKEY'S PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN, REVISES HEADLINE
By Burak Bir and Gozde Bayar
ANKARA (AA) – The latest U.S. moves, the sanctions bill and the resolution recognizing Armenian claims of 1915 events, jeopardize the bilateral relations with Turkey, a top Turkish official said on Thursday.
"The sanctions bill that passed yesterday in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Armenian resolution that passed today in the Senate endanger the future of our bilateral relationship," Fahrettin Altun, Turkish communications director, said on Twitter.
His remarks came after the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Thursday a resolution that recognizes the so-called Armenian genocide.
The resolution asserted that "it is the policy" of the U.S. to commemorate the alleged genocide "through official recognition and remembrance."
Turkey informed the U.S. about the reasons and aims of its anti-terror operation in northern Syria, Altun recalled, and added that Turkey refuses to compromise its national security “as some US Congress members are uncomfortable.”
"Sanctions and threats will not deter us from protecting our national security interests," he stressed.
Altun hit back at the U.S. Senate resolutions as “irresponsible and irrational actions.”
"As we stated previously we expect our Armenian brothers to stand up and prevent the U.S. Congress to destroy any attempt to reconcile our differences through scientific and academic channels."
"History will note these resolutions as irresponsible and irrational actions by some members of the U.S. Congress against Turkey. They will go down in history as the responsible party for causing a long lasting damage between two nations," he said.
Ibrahim Kalin, Turkey's presidential spokesman, also lashed out at the fresh U.S. resolution.
“This null and void decision will not affect Turkey’s righteous and resolute stance on political, military or economic areas,” Kalin said on Twitter.
Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to examine the issue.