The parties in Bosniak ally Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s coalition government rejected an opposition bill to recognise the 1995 Srebrenica massacres as genocide, sparking angry exchanges in the Turkish parliament.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party, MHP rejected a parliamentary proposal from the main opposition Republican People’s Party, CHP on Wednesday to recognise the Srebrenica massacres as genocide.
The CHP’s proposed also called for July 11 to be declared Genocide Remembrance Day to commemorate the killings of more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995.
But despite the fact that President Erdogan is seen as an ally of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Muslim Bosniaks, the ruling alliance, which has a majority in the Turkish parliament, blocked the proposal.
“I cannot understand how and why they rejected this bill. This is a scandal,” Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, a senior Turkish human rights activist and a lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish Green Left Party, told BIRN.
The rejection sparked angry exchanges in the legislature.
Gergerlioglu said that he asked AKP and MHP lawmakers the reasons behind their decision, but AKP MPs just shouted back at him: “This is not your business.”
“They did not know what to do and what to say. I believe that they were also unhappy with what they did,” Gergerlioglu added.
Turkey under President Erdogan, who has been ruling the country for 21 years, has become an active player in the Balkans and has paid special attention to Muslim communities including Bosniaks.
Gergerlioglu said he believes there are three reasons why Erdogan’s ruling alliance rejected the bill.
“Firstly, they do not want to enter the genocide debate since they do not want to worsen relations with Serbia. Secondly, they rejected this bill because the main opposition CHP brought it to parliament. Thirdly, they fear its effects because of the Armenian genocide debate,” Gergerlioglu said.
Several parliaments around the world have recognise the killings and deportations of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire during World War I in 1915 as genocide. Turkey strongly rejects the allegation.
Garo Paylan, a former Turkish lawmaker of Armenian descent proposed in 2022 while he was an MP that parliament should recognise the 1915 violence as genocide, but the speaker rejected the proposal as unlawful.
Source : Balkaninsight