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Thursday, 16 November, 2000, 01:38 GMT
EU urges Turks to admit 'genocide'
Armenian demonstrators outside the European parliament in Strasbourg
Armenian demonstrators lobbied parliamentarians
By Colin Blane in Strasbourg

The European parliament has added its voice to criticism of Turkey, over the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire early last century.

In a resolution, approved after a debate on Turkey's progress towards membership of the European Union the parliament called on Turkey to recognise publicly that the killings were genocide.

Genocide survivors
Survivors mark the 85th anniversary of the massacres in New York this year
Parlamentarians also called on Turkey to pull out from northern Cyprus what were termed "occupation forces".

The vote comes as a real embarrassment to Turkey and underlines the misgivings some European politicians have about ever allowing Turkey to join the EU.

The critical amendment was passed by a majority of 21 votes out of more than 500.

Resolution 'scandalous'

Earlier this week Armenian demonstrators had lobbied parliamentarians to condemn Turkey.

One Euro MP who supported Turkey in the debate described the final resolution as scandalous.

The European parliament said Turkey did not yet meet all the political criteria for membership and encouraged the Turkish government to step up their efforts towards democratisation.

But the phrases in the resolution which referred to the two highly sensitive issues of Cyprus and the Armenian massacre are the ones which will have done most to upset Turkey.

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See also:

08 Nov 00 | Media reports
French vote recognises 'Armenian genocide'
20 Oct 00 | Americas
US backs down over Turkey 'genocide'
23 Sep 00 | Media reports
Turkey angry at US Armenian genocide move
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