BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 4 October, 2000, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Turkey scraps US visit
Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, 4th left, Chief of Staff General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, left,
The Turkish army is furious at the US resolution
By Chris Morris in Ankara

Turkey's army chief has postponed a visit to Washington in reaction to a US move recognising the killings of thousands of Armenians by the Ottoman empire as genocide.

Army Chief of Staff General Huseyin Kivrikoglu
General Kivrikoglu will not visit Washington
The resolution was passed by a committee in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, but it has little chance of becoming law.

The measure is opposed by the Clinton administration and it will not be introduced in the US Senate.

Even so, Turkish reaction has been furious.

If there is one issue in modern Turkey which is more sensitive than Kurdish right or political Islam, it is what happened to the Armenians in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.

Retaliatory measures

Armenia and its supporters say more than a million people were killed in a planned campaign of genocide. Turkey says the death toll was about 300,000 and was part of widespread fighting on the eastern front of the First World War.


I appreciate that there are strong feelings on the part of both proponents and opponents of the resolution

Benjamin Gilman, committee chair
Now that the US House International Relations Committee has backed the Armenian claim, Ankara is seething.

On Wednesday the chief of the general staff, Huseyin Kivrikoglu, postponed a planned visit this month to Washington and the Turkish Government is preparing a series of other retaliatory measure.

It has been suggested that the operation allowing US aircraft to fly patrols over northern Iraq from an air base on Turkish soil could be restricted, but more likely are measures which target Armenia itself.

Turkey and Armenia have a common border, but no diplomatic relations. There is an air corridor for flights to Armenia, however, and Turkey may well decide to close it down.

Turkish officials have made it clear that if the full house of representatives approved the genocide resolution, the number of retaliatory steps against Armenian and American interests will increase.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

23 Sep 00 | Media reports
Turkey angry at US Armenian genocide move
Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories