Nations that recognise the Armenian 'genocide'


A growing number of parliaments, mainly in Europe, have voted laws or resolutions explicitly recognising the Armenian "genocide", while others hold back from using the term which infuriates Turkey.

On Thursday, German lawmakers became the latest popularly-elected body to recognise the "genocide", immediately drawing a rebuke from Turkey which called the vote a "historic mistake".

Yerevan has long sought international recognition of the word genocide, but Ankara rejects the term to describe the mass killings more than a century ago and argues that it was a collective tragedy in which equal numbers of Turks and Armenians died.

More than 20 countries have recognised the tragic events as genocide in addition to the European Parliament, which did so on 18 June 1987.

France was the first major European country to use the disputed term in 2001.

The first pontiff to publicly utter the word "genocide" was Pope Francis, in April 2015.

Before the German vote, parliaments in Austria and Luxembourg were the latest in Europe to pass resolutions that use the disputed term and condemn it.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their kin were killed between 1915 and 1917 as the Ottoman Empire was falling apart and have long sought to win international recognition of the massacres as genocide. Turkey rejects the claims, arguing that 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians and as many Turks died in civil strife when Armenians rose up against their Ottoman rulers and sided with invading Russian troops.

In 1965 Uruguay was the first country to specifically use the term genocide. Since then countries including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland have as well.

In 1996, Greece, which has a tense relationship with neighbouring Turkey, decreed 24 April as "the day of memory of the genocide of Armenians by the Turkish regime".

US President Barack Obama made a campaign pledge to "recognise the Armenian genocide" if elected, but has since avoided using the politically charged term, while insisting that his "view of that history has not changed".    (AFP)

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