Many in Armenia say the motion has no real value, though it is an important symbolic gesture." />

Dutch parliament recognizes 1915 killings of Armenians as genocide despite opposition from government

Many in Armenia say the motion has no real value, though it is an important symbolic gesture.

On 22 February the Dutch Parliament passed a motion recognizing the actions of the Ottoman Empire against ethnic Armenians in 1915 as an act of genocide, Reuters reports.

Only three out of 150 MPs voted against the motion. The three represent the party lobbying the interests of the Turkish diaspora in the Netherlands.

Until 1915 about 2.5 million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire. More than a half died as a result of killings and deportation.

Turkey denies the events were an act of genocide. The Turkish Foreign Ministry has already described the Dutch parliament’s decision as having no legal power.

Foreign Minister Sygrid Kaag said before the vote that the government would not support the decision to recognize the genocide. The Dutch government does not want to worsen its already-strained relations with Turkey.

Most historians agree that in 1915 Armenians in the Ottoman Empire where the victims of genocide. France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and 48 out of 50 American states have recognized the events as genocide.

Experts and officials in Armenia have commented on the move.

Grant Mikaelyan from the Caucasus Institute told JAMnews:

“Events like the passing of the motion by the Dutch parliament have been watched closely in Armenia. But I don’t see how they can yield any tangible results. It is purely symbolic.”


More on JAMnews