Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Angered over the U.S. Senate's approval of a resolution recognizing claims of Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire decades ago, Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador in Ankara Friday to register a formal complaint.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onap communicated to U.S. Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield "strong criticism" for the resolution, which succeeded Thursday after three prior measures failed to pass. It officially recognizes systematic killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the empire from 1915 to 1923 as genocide. The House passed a similar measure in October, but it has not yet been signed by President Donald Trump.
Thursday's was the chamber's fourth attempt to pass the resolution, after three prior moves were blocked by Republican senators over concerns it could make already tense U.S.-Turkey relations even worse.
Turkey, a key U.S. ally, refutes the genocide label and says Armenians in eastern Anatolia during the era sided with Russia in a revolt against the Ottoman Empire, which resulted in casualties on both sides as they relocated. Modern-day Turkey grew out of the empire's downfall in 1922. The Ottoman Empire had been one of the world's greatest superpowers for centuries.
Turkish officials said historians and international experts should form a commission to decide the matter.
Wednesday, the Senate foreign relations committee approved sanctions against Turkey for an August military offensive in Syria that targeted U.S.-supported Kurdish forces. Ankara also bought a Russian missile defense system, which soured a prior bilateral agreement to buy American-made F-35 fighter jets.