BRUSSELS—A Turkish member of the Belgian Federal Parliament was expelled from her political party on Friday for not recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
Mahinur Ozdemir, who is the first woman with a headscarf to become member of the Belgian parliament, told Anadolu Agency that she refused to recognize the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish government in WWI and was later expelled by a committee from her party, the Humanist Democratic Centre (CHD).
President of the CHD, Benoit Lutgen, said last week that any member of the CHD who denied the Armenian Genocide would be expelled from the party.
Ozdemir, who did not attend a moment of silence to commemorate the 1915 events, said there is no court order that enforces one to recognize the events concerning Armenians and that the European Parliament’s resolution in April for recognition of the 1915 events is not binding.
Ozdemir told Anadolu Agency that CHD President Lutgen wanted her to sign a communique recognizing the 1915 events and told her she would be expelled from the party if she refused.
Turks in Belgium have recently expressed their discontent with a rising intolerance in Belgium for denying the Armenian Genocide, considered one of the most tragic examples of a crime against humanity in recent history.
In a rally held last week, around 3,000 Turkish and Azeri nationalists gathered in Brussels and protested against calling the Armenian Genocide by name.
The Republic of Armenia and Armenians around the world, who constitute a large diaspora as a result of the Armenian Genocide, have demanded an apology and restitutions from Turkey for the crime. Turkey to this day denies that the atrocities were a genocide, refuting the consensus of most Western historians.