Turkish economy minister says Germany's ‘Armenian genocide’ bill threatens friendship
ANKARATurkey's economy minister said the Bundestag’s approval of a resolution recognizing the World War I-era killings of Anatolian Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire as “genocide” threatened the friendship between the two countries, but he stopped short of detailing specific retaliatory measures.
Asked whether any economic steps could be taken against Germany, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said the response should be in the "same areas" as the German resolution, suggesting Ankara may be more likely to take political measures than announce any trade sanctions, Reuters reported on June 9.
Put forward by the ruling left-right coalition and the opposition Greens, the resolution entitled “Remembrance and commemoration of the genocide of Armenians and other Christian minorities in 1915 and 1916” carries the contentious word throughout the text.
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 chargé d’affaires in Ankara for consultations.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also slammed Germany for approving the bill, saying his country would never accept the accusation that its forefathers committed genocide.
“Hey Germany, what do you want to do? What is your problem? First, say it. When I talked to her [German Chancellor Angela Merkel], do you know what she said to me three or four days before that incident? She said: ‘I will do my best.’ Is it your best not to attend the vote in parliament? If you had an honest manner here, you would attend. Well, a lady voted no, the second no would be your vote and I would applaud you,” Erdoğan said, adding that they were neither honest nor sincere.