Merkel says Turkish slurs against German MPs incomprehensible
BERLIN – Reuters
REUTERS photoGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel said accusations levied by Turkey against German lawmakers of Turkish origin after its parliament passed a resolution declaring the World War I-era killings of Anatolian Armenians at the hands of Ottomans as “genocide” were incomprehensible.
“The lawmakers in Germany’s lower house of parliament are freely elected without exception and the accusations and statements which have been made by the Turkish side are incomprehensible,” Merkel told a joint news conference with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in Berlin on June 7.
On June 5, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lashed out at the German parliament for passing the resolution and suggested that Germany was being hypocritical given its own history.
Merkel responded that the parliament had included references to the Nazi Holocaust in its resolution, and that Germany has not only dealt with its Nazi past but feels “duty-bound” to continue to do so.
Erdoğan has also been widely reported in German media as saying that German lawmakers of Turkish origin who voted for the resolution have “tainted” blood and that their blood must be tested in a lab.
Yerevan has long sought international recognition of the “genocide,” but Ankara rejects the use of the term to describe the World War I-era killings and argues that it was a collective tragedy in which an equal numbers of Turks and Armenians died.
Ankara put up fierce opposition before and after the vote, recalling the Turkish envoy to Germany and summoning the German charge d’affaires in Ankara for consultations.