WASHINGTON — The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved two bipartisan measures representing rebukes to Turkey.

The first was a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide that passed 405-11.

That resolution commemorated the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923 and encouraged public education about it.

Similar measures have been debated over the years but often ran into wariness about offending a strategic regional ally in Turkey.

But that wariness seemed to evaporate in the wake of Turkey’s recent military offensive against Kurds in northern Syria.

“Turkey’s behavior has made their arguments about forgoing this kind of thing no longer relevant,” said Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. The Nebraska Republican added that he would have supported the resolution regardless.

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said policymakers have been wary of creating a fissure with a NATO ally.

“But I think history is clear — there was genocide,” Bacon said. “The best way to heal is to acknowledge what happened and deal with it.”

All Nebraska and Iowa House members supported the genocide resolution, as well as another measure calling for sanctions on Turkey over its military operations in Syria.

The sanctions legislation passed 403-16.

Sign up for The World-Herald's afternoon updates

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Reporter - Politics/Washington D.C.

Joseph Morton is The World-Herald Washington Bureau Chief. Morton joined The World-Herald in 1999 and has been reporting from Washington for the newspaper since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @MortonOWH. Email:joseph.morton@owh.com

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Recommended for you

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.