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Genocide Debate

Turkey Protests against Swedish Vote

Published lördag 13 mars 2010 kl 15.01
Protests outside the Swedish Consulate in Istanbul: ' We did not commit genocide, we defended the country.'

People have been protesting outside Swedish consulates in Turkey, following the Swedish parliament's decision on Thursday to recognise as genocide the deaths of Armenians and other ethnic groups in the Ottoman Empire.

The reactions in Turkey "have been strong on every level" Christer Asp, Sweden's ambassador in Ankara told Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

And news agency TT reports that the mailbox of the Swedish Embassy in Ankara is overflowing with protest letters from private persons as well as organisations.

"Some of them are formulated in a way that I would not want to express in public. There are no threats, but no nice words about Sweden, if you see what I mean," Ambassador Christer Asp told TT.

The embassy has also received e-mails from Turkish businessmen who say they have cancelled contracts with Swedish companies, in protest of the standpoint in the Swedish parliament.

The Turkish Ambassador in Stockholm has been recalled, and Prime Minister Erdogan has cancelled his planned visit to Sweden next week. Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt calls the parliaments decision "deeply regrettable" and says that it will make the reconciliation in the region more difficult.

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