Ankara warns Berlin over Armenian bill
AA photoAnkara has warned Berlin over a bill regarding the century-old killings of Anatolian Armenians during World War I, asking legislators not to jeopardize Turkish-German relations by passing a motion in the Bundestag on June 2 that declares the killings as “genocide.”
Turkish-German relations have continued since World War I with extreme sincerity, leading to the intermingling of the peoples, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Numan Kurtulmuş said on May 30.
“I believe that the German parliament will not destroy this relationship out of respect for a few politicians,” he said about the bill which will go to a vote in the Bundestag on June 2 and which condemns the century-old killings of Anatolian Armenians during World War I as a genocide.
“If they do such thing, it would consist solely of a text which has no scientific value; a text which has no value,” Kurtulmuş said after a cabinet meeting.
“We would do whatever we do when other parliaments adopt such resolutions; we would do the same thing and proceed on our way,” he added.
Armenia charges that as many as 1.5 million of its kin were victims of genocide during World War I under the Ottoman Empire.
Ankara rejects the “genocide” charge, countering that 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil strife when Armenians rose up against their Ottoman rulers and sided with invading Russian forces.
The bill, which was prepared by the coalition partners Christian Democrat Union/ Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD), while the Greens say Armenians and other Christian minorities were subject to a genocidal campaign 101 years ago.
The debate over the resolution also comes at a hugely sensitive time in Berlin-Ankara relations.
Turkish authorities are angry over the failure to grant citizens visa-free travel to the European Union and Germany is worried by the worsening rights situation in Turkey.