Turkey's leader: How many on Foreign Affairs panel could find Armenia?

Turkey's prime minister said Saturday that the genocide resolution passed by the House this week could harm bilateral relations.

"Is evaluating history the business of politicians? How many in that room could point out where Armenia is?" Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech to the a Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey, according to Hurriyet Daily News. "So who won? Did the U.S. win? Did Armenia?"

The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the contentious resolution, which would recognize the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915 as genocide, in an extremely close 23-22 vote. Turkey immediately recalled its ambassador, Namık Tan, back to Ankara for consultations. He arrived home on Saturday.

The committee's approval could send the measure to the House floor, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided against bringing the resolution to the floor when a version was last approved by the Foreign Affairs panel in 2007.


A senior foreign ministry official also told journalists Friday, according to Hurriyet, that the resolution is perhaps not “the end of the world” but surely is the “end of the historic protocols” signed between Turkey and Armenia.

“No one should expect Turkish Parliament to proceed with the protocols at least until April 24,” the official said.

April 24 is the commemoration day on which Armenians mark the killings. President Barack Obama promised during his presidential campaign that he would recognize the killings as genocide, but last April 24 saw the president issuing a statement expressing sympathy for the deaths but avoiding the term "genocide."

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