Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to recognise the killing of Native Americans at the hand of European settlers in an attack on Washington’s decision to recognize Turkey’s Armenian genocide.
The US Senate voted in favour of recognising the genocide last week, a move initially stalled by Republicans at the urging of Donald Trump – who had been due to meet with the Turkish leader at the time.
However, with the bill now passed, Mr Erdogan has threatened to respond by recognising US killings of Native Americans – saying the deaths of millions of indigenous people at the hands of European settlers should also be viewed as a genocide.
Speaking on the pro-government A Haber news channel, he said: “We should oppose [the US] by reciprocating such decisions in parliament. And that is what we will do.
“Can we speak about America without mentioning [Native Americans]? It is a shameful moment in US history”.
The US bill was opposed by left-wing Democrat Ilhan Omar who refused to back the bill until the deaths of Native Americans and the transatlantic slave trade were viewed in the same light by congress.
Omar has been in the spotlight after having defied her party three times by casting her vote in ways that might serve the interests of Turkey, while critics claim she is a pawn of Erdogan, and his friends in the Muslim Brotherhood.