(AA) – Turkey has summoned its ambassador to Austria hours after the Austrian Parliament described the 1915 events as “genocide,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
The Austrian parliament’s declaration has created great indignation at our side, the statement said.
“(It) is obvious that this will leave lasting negative marks over Turkey-Austria friendship and relations,” it added.
The ministry also said that Turkey’s views over the issue had been conveyed to the Austrian ambassador to Ankara, and that Turkey’s Ambassador to Vienna Hasan Gogus was recalled to Ankara for consultations.
“The Austrian parliament, contrary to the law and historic facts, has no authority to attribute offense to the Turkish nation,” the statement said, adding that “it should be known that this slander thrown at Turkey and at Turkish nation’s history will not be forgotten.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Austrian parliament speaker, Doris Bures, said in a speech that the 1915 events began with the “arrest of Armenians,” continued with their “deportation” and ended with “genocide.” Bures said that six Austrian political parties had agreed over this issue and also prepared a joint declaration to this effect.
Turkey has called for the establishment of a joint commission of historians and the opening of archives to study and uncover what happened between the Ottoman Empire and its Armenian citizens.
The 1915 events took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and revolted.
The relocation by the Ottomans of Armenians in eastern Anatolia following the revolts resulted in numerous casualties. Turkey does not dispute that there were casualties on both sides, but rejects the definition of “genocide.”