WASHINGTON (CNN)–Turkey has recalled its ambassador to the United States, Nabi Sensoy, in response to a House resolution that would call the World War I massacre of Armenia’s by Turkish forces "genocide," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
U.S. Air Force planes prepare to take off from Incirlik Airbase in Turkey in this file photo.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the measure 27-21 on Wednesday evening, even though President Bush and key administration figures lobbied hard against it. The full House is expected to vote on it, possibly Friday.
A top Turkish official warned Thursday that consequences "won’t be pleasant" if the full House approves the resolution.
"Yesterday some in Congress wanted to play hardball," said Egemen Bagis, foreign policy adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "I can assure you Turkey knows how to play hardball."
The administration is expected to try to persuade the Democratic leadership not to schedule a vote by the full House, according to The Associated Press.
But House Democratic leaders said earlier if the Foreign Affairs Committee passed the resolution, they intended to bring it to the House floor. Watch why the resolution stirs strong emotions ?
The House was not in session on Thursday because of the funeral of Rep. Jo Ann Davis of Virginia, who died on Saturday. Members may vote on the resolution on Friday.
Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, gave the following statement in response to Turkey’s decision to remove its ambassador from the United States. The decision comes one day after the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 27 to 21 in support of the Armenian Genocide Resolution.
"This is just another effort by the Turkish government to bully members of Congress into denying the fact of the Armenian Genocide. When the committee overwhelmingly supported this same resolution two years ago, the Turkish government did not take such drastic steps in retaliation. It is clear the Turkish government will go to any lengths to keep this bill from coming up for a vote of the full House,” said Pallone.
"I am confident that my colleagues will see this for what it is worth, and will continue to stand for truth and justice when this bill finally comes to the floor in the coming weeks,” added Pallone.