Dutch State Sec. to attend Armenian genocide commemoration

State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance will attend the commemoration of the Armenian genocide in Armenia next week. This is the first time a member of the Dutch government will be present at the commemoration. From now on a Dutch Minister or State Secretary will attend the commemoration every five years, RTL Nieuws reports.

Two months ago the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, officially recognized the genocide of 1915. In that year hundreds of thousands of Armenians were murdered in the Ottoman Empire. Turkey denies that this was a deliberate genocide, instead calling it a war situation. The Turks also say that the Armenians were a danger because they were fighting on the side of the Russian enemy. There are therefore always furious reactions from the Turkish capital of Ankara whenever countries announce recognition of the genocide.

After the Kamer recognized the Armenian genocide, Turkish media targeted five Dutch parliamentarians who have a Turkish background. Turkish website En Son Haber published their names and photos under the headline: "The five Turks who have betrayed the motherland".

The Kamer also demanded that the government send a representative to the commemoration of the genocide, and the government agreed. Though the Dutch government has not officially recognized the genocide and continues to talk about "the issue of the Armenian genocide"