April 14, 2016 / 1:17 PM / 2 years ago

Turkey EU minister says rejects European Parliament report

VIENNA (Reuters) - Turkey rejects a European Parliament progress report released on Thursday, Ankara’s European Union Affairs Minister said, citing a reference in the report to the disputed 1915 massacre of Armenians.

A woman adjusts the Turkish flag next to the European Union flag before the arrival of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (unseen) at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels January 15, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

“Unfortunately this year... the same reference takes place in the European Parliament’s Turkey report. These expressions, despite all our efforts and our warnings, could not be dropped,” Volkan Bozkir told reporters at a news conference in Austria, when asked about the report’s reference to genocide.

“That’s why we will consider this report as null and void and our permanent representative will send it back to the European Parliament.”

Turkey accepts that many Armenians were killed in clashes with Ottoman soldiers when Armenians lived in the empire ruled from Istanbul, but denies hundreds of thousands were killed and that this amounted to genocide.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk in Istanbul; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Daren Butler

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