February 16, 2018
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, approved two motions regarding the Armenian Genocide of 1915 on Thursday, February 15. One states that the Tweede Kamer "recognizes the Armenian Genocide", the other that a Dutch Minister or State Secretary should attend the commemoration of Genocide in Armenia in April, NL Times reports citing ANP.
This decision is expected to further sour the relationship between Turkey and the Netherlands.
Both motions were submitted by ChristenUnie parliamentarian Joel Voordewind. All four coalition parties supported the motions.
So far the Netherlands never officially recognized the Genocide, always speaking of the "issue of the Armenian genocide". But a majority in parliament believes it is time for the situation to change. "We can not deny history out of fear of sanctions. Our country houses the capital of international law after all, so we must not be afraid to do the right thing here too", Voordewind said Friday.
The relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey is already tense, since the Netherlands refused Turkish ministers access to the country to campaign for a referendum that gave president Recep Tayyip Erdogan more power. Recently talks to repair relations broke down, and the Netherlands officially recalled the Dutch ambassador to Turkey.
Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as Genocide.
Turkey denies to this day.