Turkey summons US envoy over Armenian genocide recognition
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Turkey summons US envoy over Armenian genocide recognition

Foreign ministry condemns House resolutions acknowledging 1915 mass killings and sanctioning Ankara over its onslaught against Kurds in Syria

In this photo from July 11, 2018, US President Donald Trump, left, talks with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as they arrive together for a family photo at a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
In this photo from July 11, 2018, US President Donald Trump, left, talks with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as they arrive together for a family photo at a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

ISTANBUL, Turkey — Turkey’s foreign ministry said that it summoned US Ambassador David Satterfield on Wednesday over two resolutions passed by the US House of Representatives.

The Turkish ministry said in a statement that it rejects the nonbinding House resolution to recognize the century-old mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide. The bill passed 405-11.

In another statement, the ministry said it condemned a bipartisan bill to sanction senior Turkish officials and its army for Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria, which passed 403-16.

Both bills, passed Tuesday, were a sign of further deterioration in Turkish-American relations, which have been strained over multiple issues, especially US support for Syrian Kurdish fighters considered terrorists by Ankara.

American lawmakers have been critical of Ankara’s operation against Kurdish forces along the Turkish-Syrian border.

In this April 24, 2019, file photo, protesters hold portraits of Armenian intellectuals during a rally held to commemorate the 104th anniversary of the 1915 mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Turks in Istanbul. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

Turkey’s cross-border offensive, which Ankara says is necessary for its national security, began on October 9 after months of Turkish threats and a sudden decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw troops and abandon Kurdish allies against the Islamic State terror group. Trump’s move was widely criticized by both the Republicans and the Democrats.

Turkey and allied Syrian fighters paused operations with two ceasefires brokered by the US and Russia to allow the Kurdish fighters to withdraw 30 kilometers (19 miles) away from the Turkish border.

The foreign ministry said both bills were fashioned for “domestic consumption” in the US and would undermine relations. It said lawmakers critical of Turkey’s Syria offensive would be wrong to take “vengeance” through the Armenian genocide bill.

Turkey disputes the description of mass deportations and killings of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 as genocide and has lobbied against its recognition in the US for years. It has instead called for a joint committee of historians to investigate the events.

“Undoubtedly, this resolution will negatively affect the image of the US before the public opinion of Turkey,” the ministry said.

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