Ankara mulls intl law option against 'genocide' resolutions
Turkey yesterday hinted it may resort to international law to counter foreign legislatures passing resolutions labeling the killing of Anatolian Armenians during World War I as "genocide." During a press conference, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Burak Ozugergin reiterated Ankara's view that parliaments are not places for debating historical facts, stressing that this principle applies whether such resolutions are passed or defeated. "Resorting to international law is also one of the options we have been considering," he added. Asked about statements by senior US officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, opposing a "genocide" resolution which recently passed a House committee, Ozugergin criticized this as too little, too late. In contrast, Ozugergin stressed how the Swedish government voiced its opposition to a similar measure in its parliament from the very beginning. "The Swedes actively demonstrated that they did not find this unusual debate in their parliament appropriate and that they did not support it," he said. Asked about US calls for tougher sanction against Iran, Ozugergin reiterated Turkey's reluctance to join the US-led push to further punish Iran for its controversial nuclear ambitions, saying diplomatic means should be pursued instead of new sanctions. It is not only Turkey, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, who believes that sanctions "will not serve the desired goal," he said, when asked about a senior US official saying Turkey must show it is "on board" with the move toward new sanctions. "Many would be disappointed if Turkey is an exception to an international consensus on dealing with Iran," Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon said last week. But Ozugergin said, "There is still an opportunity ahead of us, and we believe that this opportunity should be used effectively. Not less, but more diplomacy (is needed)."