ANKARA—Warning that decisions like the European Parliament’s motion recognizing the Armenian Genocide will lead to enmity and prejudice against Turkey and Muslims, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in an attempt to point the finger away from the Turkish government, asked about the fate of the Aborigines in Australia and Native Americans in the United States.
“If a contribution is to be made to peace, if European culture is to preserve its multicultural and multi-religious structure, it must not make decisions that will cause enmity against any religious or national group on the basis of history. This is a situation which will provoke anti-Islam and anti-Turkish [sentiments], which have been on the rise recently in Europe. From now on, the ‘Turkey-Armenia’ [issue] has moved beyond the ‘Turkish-Armenian’ issue. It is a reflection of racism in Europe,” Davutoğlu said on Friday, responding to reporters.
The European Parliament’s motion came on April 15, a few days after Pope Francis also reaffirmed the Armenian Genocide with a Holy Mass at the Vatican.
The prime minister argued that both the European Parliament’s resolution and the pope’s statement were “a new reflection of racism.”
Davutoglu turned the discussion away from Turkey as he mentioned past injustices committed by European countries. “I told [European Parliament President Martin] Schulz yesterday. If we are to open the history of Europe, what was done in Africa during colonialism? What was done in Asia? What was done in Australia and where have those authentic tribes disappeared to? Where are the Aborigines, where are the Redskins?” he said, using the derogatory term for Native Americans.
Davutoglu then pointed the finger at the Catholic Church, criticizing the Church’s actions five hundred years ago during the Spanish Inquisition. “We could open files of Catholic history and bring up an issue by talking about those who fled the Inquisition, came to our country and how they have lived in peace here for centuries.”