As the Pro-Kurdish HDP geared up for the June 7th general elections in Turkey, Vice President of the party, Nazmi Gur, took a stance supporting the recognition of Armenian genocide in Turkey, stating that the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey should “stand for the recognition of Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire,” as well as “the implementation of the normalization of relations [with] Armenia.”
The HDP’s willingness to recognize the Armenian genocide is directly opposed to the Turkish government’s official stance, which is that the 1.5 million Armenian deaths in WWI should not be considered genocide.
Recognition of Armenian Genocide in Turkey
While Turkey recognizes that Christian Armenians perished during WWI, they have rejected international claims that the deaths were a result of a genocide performed by the Ottoman Empire.
Turkey’s stance has posed problems as many foreign governments have classified the deaths as genocide. Most recently, the Brazilian Senate passed legislation recognizing Armenian deaths during WWI as genocide, and in response, Turkey recalled its Ambassador to Brazil for “consultation.”
Turkey’s President has also accused countries, including France, Germany, Russia and Austria — whose governments have described the deaths as genocide — for supporting “claims constructed on Armenian lies.”
The Armenian deaths resulted after the Ottoman Empire forcibly relocated Christian Armenians during World War I. Scholars and historians have estimated that up to 1.5 million Armenians died during these relocations, and have described the deaths as the first genocide of the 20th century.
The pro-Kurdish HDP recieved 13% of the general vote in the June 7th elections. As a result, for the first time in history, a pro-Kurdish political party will recieve 80 seats in the Turkish national parliament.