Armenian Genocide Vote Withering in Turkish Heat

Pols backing off to avoid angering key ally
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2007 6:54 AM CDT
Armenian Genocide Vote Withering in Turkish Heat
Members of the left-wing Workers' Party wave Turkish flags as they chant slogans during a protest against the U.S. and its passing of a bill describing World War I-era killings of Armenians as genocide, Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007. Despite intense lobbying by Turkish officials and opposition...   (Associated Press)

Members of Congress are backing off a resolution that would classify Turkish purges of Armenians as genocide. The bill's approval by a committee last week infuriated the Turks, who called home their ambassador and have threatened to forbid US military use of Turkish airspace and bases to support Iraqi operations if the resolution passes. Turkey is also close to attacking Kurdish rebels in Iraq.

At least six Democrats and two Republicans withdrew support for the resolution yesterday, reports Politico. “I don’t think it’s a good thing to anger an ally that is so crucial for the well-being of our troops,” said a representative. Diplomats in Ankara are trying to defuse the situation. (Read more Turkey stories.)

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