Turkey's called home its ambassador following Sweden's vote that recognizes the massacre of millions of Armenians
A century later, Turkey's Muslim dominated government has called home its ambassador following Sweden's vote that recognizes the massacre of millions of Armenian Christians some 95-116 years ago.
Founded by Haig, the legendary descendant of Noah, Armenia and its people have been oppressed, persecuted and exterminated since 600 B.C., but their sporadic massacre by Turks between 1994-1915 has today, almost a century later, caused a diplomatic break between the nations of Sweden and Turkey.
In some opinion the most successful denial propaganda in modern times, the Turkish government contends that up to 1.5 million Armenians, who are the world's oldest peoples of the Christian faith, perished cruelly during mass deportation to Syria and Mesopotamia after the Ottoman Empire's collapse at the end of the first world war. Additional tens of thousands suffered death at the hands of the Turks, acts that were later declared crimes of war in the UN Genocide Convention of 1948.
The persecution was carried out not only for religious and ethnic reasons, but also because Armenians resistance fighters helped invading Russian troops. Turkey, allied with Germany in World War I, lost control of Armenia to the USSR in the Russo-Turkish Treaty of 1921 and, in decades behind the iron curtain, the matter remained in festering silence.
Trampling over hard opposition from conservative parties and the Reinfeld administration with a single vote majority, the Swedish Parliament voted last week to recognize this and other acts of genocide carried out by Turkish forces against Armenians as well as Assyrians, Syrians, Chaldeans and Pontic Greeks. The unexpected action by Swedish politicians, made possible by four conservative crossover votes, came after diplomatic exchanges between Sweden and the Turkish Embassy. Instantly after the vote, the Turkish ambassador in Stockholm, Zergün Korutürk, was called home by the Ankara government's Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.
With intense police security through the Parliament and premises, a gallery filled with Armenians, Assyrians, Syrians and Greeks listened to hours of debate on the controversial issue. Opposing politicians had hoped for an officially neutral Swedish diplomatic position that would sooth the ethnic conflict, and after the vote, deteriorating international relations were accompanied by cancellation of a state visit to Sweden planned this month by Prime Minister Erdogan, Turkey's head of state.