Turkey on Wednesday warned the European Parliament it would ignore any decision qualifying the 1915 killings of Armenians in World War I as genocide.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said such recognition would go “in one ear and out from the other”.
The European Parliament is due to vote later Wednesday on a “motion for resolution on the commemoration of the centennial of the Armenian genocide”.
The vote takes place against the backdrop of growing tensions over the characterization of the tragedy ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Ottoman-era massacres this month.
“Whatever decision the European Union Parliament makes today would go in one ear and out from the other because it is not possible for Turkey to accept such a sin or crime,” Erdogan told reporters at an Ankara airport before leaving for Kazakhstan.
Furious with Pope Francis’ use of the word “genocide” at the weekend to describe the killings, Turkey responded by summoning the Vatican’s ambassador in Ankara and recalling the Turkish envoy to the Holy See in a show of protest.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, whose country is a NATO member and long-time European Union hopeful, warned the pope not to use “blackmail against Turkey”.
“We will not let our nation be insulted over history,” Davutoglu said in an address to his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara.
“The pope has also joined those traps set against the AK Party and Turkey,” he said, railing at the “unfair accusations” made ahead of Turkey’s June 7 elections.