Turkey angered by Dutch decision to recognise Armenian genocide

Turkey has summoned the Netherlands’ senior diplomat to account for the Dutch parliament’s vote to recognise the Armenian genocide of 1915.

A majority of MPs backed a campaign by Christian Union MP Joël Voordewind to acknowledge the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenian Christians by the Ottoman empire as an act of genocide. They also supported sending a minister to represent the Netherlands at the official commemoration in Armenia in April.

The decision has put further strain on the already frayed relationship between the two countries. The Netherlands formally withdrew its ambassador from Ankara earlier this month, but has had no representation since last March, when a Turkish minister was denied permission to attend a gathering of supporters in Rotterdam and given a police escort out of the country.

Turkey has ordered the acting ambassador to report to the ministry of foreign affairs to discuss what its government continues to describe as ‘the Armenian question’.

Voordewind said the Netherlands should take a stand as the home of the institutions of international law in The Hague. ‘We are acknowledging history,’ he said. ‘That is not the same thing as casting aspersions as Turkey has done towards the Netherlands.’