Crimean Tatars Oppose Ukraine’s Genocide Recognition Bill
KIEV—A bill recognizing the Armenian Genocide introduced in Ukraine’s Parliament has angered the chairman of so-called Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, reported the Yerkramas Armenian newspaper published in Krasnodar, Russia.
“Even if the bill passes the Parliament, I don’t believe the President will have enough will to sign it,” Mustafa Dzhemilev, the Crimean Tatar leader and member of the Ukranian Parliament said.
He called the legislation an “inconsiderate and unsound step” by the Ukrainian Parliament.
“The number of Turkic people in Ukraine is much greater than that of Armenians. The authors of the bill should be aware of the consequences its adoption could lead to,” Dzhemilev said, adding that Ukraine’s relations with Azerbaijan, Turkey and other Turkic nations could be jeopardized in the event of the bill’s passage.
Dzhemilev was quoted by Polemika.com.ua news agency as saying that he will talk to Arsen Avakov, one of the co-authors of the bill, who is a member of his own Batkivshchyna Party.
“I will tell him that this step is unacceptable. If the faction supports the decision, I will withdraw from it. At the same time, we’ll tell other parliament members that the measure would be a blow to Ukraine’s foreign policy,” he said.
Dzhemilev also warned of wide-spread protests by Turkic people in Ukraine.
The bill on the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1922 perpetrated at the hands of the Ottoman Empire was introduced in the Ukrainian Supreme Rada. The document has been authored by member of the Batkivshchyna Party Arsen Avakov, members of the Party of Regions Vilen Shatvoryan and Never Mkhitaryan.