BULGARIA’S PARLIAMENT RECOGNIZES THE MASS KILLING OF ARMENIANS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

Bulgaria’s Parliament passed a resolution recognizing the “mass killing” of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in the period 1915-1922. The initial draft of the resolution, tabled by Ataka party, was rephrased and the word “genocide” was replaced by...

BULGARIA’S PARLIAMENT RECOGNIZES THE MASS KILLING OF ARMENIANS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

Bulgaria’s Parliament passed a resolution recognizing the “mass killing” of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in the period 1915-1922.

The initial draft of the resolution, tabled by Ataka party, was rephrased and the word “genocide” was replaced by “mass killing”.157 MPs voted in favour and 36 against.

The adopted resolution determines the date 24th of April as a Victim Remembrance Day. After the vote, the MPs observed a minute silence to honour the memory of the victims. The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) left the plenary hall. MRF is the third-largest party in the National Assembly and part of the opposition. It is led and supported in the main by Bulgarians of Turkish ethnicity.

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov called for clear distinction to be made between the Ottoman Empire and present-day Turkey and said he hoped the indisputable fact that people were killed at that time would be acknowledged by the Turkish government too.

Representatives of the Armenian community commented in the corridors of the Parliament that the adoption of the resolution was a serious breakthrough. “We understand the delicate position and the political situation, in which our country is and that is why we accept the replacement of the word “genocide”, they said.

Despite the rephrasing, they highly appreciated the MPs’ act. “I did not believe this would happen in my lifetime”, Eri Baliyan excitedly commented. “First and foremost, I am Bulgarian and understand the delicacy of the situation. This is why I accept the changing of the words”, she added.

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