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HomeBalkansTurkey Does Recognise Srebrenica Killings as Genocide, Embassy Says

Turkey Does Recognise Srebrenica Killings as Genocide, Embassy Says

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The Turkish Embassy in Sarajevo issued a statement on Thursday insisting that Ankara does recognise the 1995 Srebrenica killings as genocide after ruling coalition parties in the Turkish parliament rejected a proposal to formally recognise the massacres as genocide.

“The Republic of Turkey with all its institutions recognises the genocide in Srebrenica and in this regard accepts the decisions of international courts without the need for an additional law,” the statement said, Anadolu Agency reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party, MHP rejected a parliamentary proposal from the main opposition Republican People’s Party, CHP on Wednesday to recognise the Srebrenica massacres as genocide.

The CHP’s proposed also called for July 11 to be declared Genocide Remembrance Day to commemorate the killings of more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995.

But despite the fact that President Erdogan is seen as an ally of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Muslim Bosniaks, the ruling alliance, which has a majority in the Turkish parliament, blocked the proposal.

After BIRN reported the vote in the Turkish parliament, the news made headlines in Bosnia and other Balkan countries.

Bosnian news website Avaz reported the story with the headline “Erdogan’s party refused to adopt the bill on the recognition of the genocide in Srebrenica”, leading the Turkish embassy to respond with its statement.

The embassy described the report as an example of “malicious and rather unsuccessful journalism”.

All six political parties in the Turkish parliament condemned the Srebrenica genocide in a joint letter to mark the 28th anniversary on Tuesday, but this was not a legally binding document.

Turkish leaders including President Erdogan have described the Srebrenica killings as genocide but the government avoids recognising in parliament for several reasons, claimed Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, a lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish Green Left Party.

Gergerlioglu argued that the government does not want to worsen relations with Serbia or reopen debate about the killings and deportations of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire during World War I, which some parliaments around the world have described as genocide. Turkey strongly rejects this allegation.

Gergerlioglu also claimed that the ruling parties rejected the proposal because the main opposition CHP brought it to parliament.

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