Brussels Mayor Expelled from Socialist Party Over Meeting with Far-Right Turkish Group

Brussels mayor expelled from Socialist party for meeting with Turkish group accused of denying Armenian genocide, highlighting tensions over genocide recognition and far-right influence in European politics.

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Salman Khan
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Brussels Mayor Expelled from Socialist Party Over Meeting with Far-Right Turkish Group

Brussels Mayor Expelled from Socialist Party Over Meeting with Far-Right Turkish Group

Philippe Close, the mayor, barred from the Socialist party after meeting with a far-right Turkish organization accused of denying the Armenian genocide. The decision to expel Close was made by the party's vigilance committee following an investigation into the controversial meet.

The meeting in question took place between Close and representatives of the Grey Wolves, a Turkish ultranationalist group known for its far-right views and alleged involvement in political violence. The Grey Wolves have been accused of denying the Armenian genocide, a systematic extermination of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War I, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million people.

Close's decision to meet with the group has drawn sharp criticism from both his own party and the Armenian community in Belgium. The Socialist party has long been a vocal advocate for the recognition of the Armenian genocide and has condemned any attempts to deny or downplay the atrocities committed against the Armenian people.

Why this matters: The expulsion of a prominent political figure like the mayor of Brussels from his party highlights the ongoing tensions surrounding the recognition of the Armenian genocide and the influence of far-right groups in European politics. It also highlights the significance of political leaders being aware of the organizations they connect with and the possible repercussions of such connections.

In a statement released by the Socialist party, a spokesperson said, "The actions of Mayor Close are incompatible with the values and principles of our party. We cannot tolerate any association with groups that deny the Armenian genocide or promote far-right ideologies. The decision to expel him from the party was necessary to maintain our integrity and commitment to human rights."

Close has not yet publicly commented on his expulsion from the party or the circumstances surrounding his meeting with the Grey Wolves. The Armenian community in Belgium has welcomed the Socialist party's decision, with a representative stating, "We appreciate the swift action taken by the Socialist party in response to Mayor Close's meeting with a group that denies the immense suffering of our ancestors. It sends a clear message that denying the Armenian genocide will not be tolerated in Belgian politics."

Key Takeaways

  • Brussels mayor Philippe Close barred from Socialist party for meeting far-right group
  • Grey Wolves accused of denying Armenian genocide, Close's meeting drew criticism
  • Socialist party expelled Close, citing incompatibility with party values and principles
  • Expulsion highlights tensions over Armenian genocide recognition and far-right influence
  • Armenian community in Belgium welcomed Socialist party's decision to expel Close