The Federation of Armenian Organisations in the Netherlands (FAON) has rejected Foreign Minister Stef Blok's lax response to the call from the House of Representatives to condemn the unacceptable words about the Armenian Genocide by Turkish president Erdogan on 24 April 2019, the commemoration day of the Armenian Genocide.
During the debate in the Chamber on 15 May 2019 on the situation in Turkey, the minister was urged by various factions to condemn the inadmissible denial practices by Turkish President Erdogan, who stated that “the relocation of the Armenian gangs and their supporters, who massacred the Muslim people, was the most reasonable action that could be taken in such a period”.
In his plea, MP Joël Voordewind (ChristianUnion – CU) recalled also the still valid motion by Rouvoet, in which the Chamber unanimously instructed the government to put constantly and explicitly the recognition of the Armenian Genocide on the agenda in the dialogue with Turkey. This motion from 2004 is the first unanimous recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Dutch Parliament.
The motion has been quoted countless times in the Parliament, when the human rights situation in Turkey in general and the denial of the Armenian Genocide in particular has been discussed.
MPs Martijn van Helvert (Christian Democratic Appeal – CDA) and Kees van der Staaij (Reformed Political Party – SGP) also made an important point, that a Dutch response is necessary to the unheard statements made by the Turkish president.
Minister Blok dismissed these urgent questions about, in his words, “the issue of the Armenian Genocide”, by saying that he will not respond each time to what other people say.
The FAON believes that the trivialising responses of the Minister are an evidence of a far-reaching and dangerous political opportunism. In the discussions, the Minister had to answer several times the question about the method used not only to restore the relations with Turkey but also expand them. The question has also been raised if it wouldn’t be naïve to hope that by increasing trade relations, it will be possible to achieve improvements in the rule of law in Turkey.