Turkey erupted today over a US bill that would officially recognize the 1915-1917 mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey as genocide. Turkey’s president said the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which passed the resolution 27-21, “sought to sacrifice big problems for small domestic political games.” He promised “serious trouble” for US-Turkish relations, reports the BBC. Turkey is a key US ally and staging ground for the Iraq war.
Armenian-American interest groups have long lobbied for such a resolution, but Turkey has always denied genocide took place. “27 Foolish Americans,” declared one Turkish newspaper headline. Another called it a “Bill of hatred.” The White House opposes the bill, fearing Turkey will withdraw logistics support for US troops, or follow through on a threat to invade Iraq’s Kurdish region to stop Kurdish separatists from mounting cross-border raids.