Ankara Warns Germany over Armenian ‘Genocide’ Vote

Ankara Warns Germany over Armenian ‘Genocide’ Vote
Wed Jun 1, 2016 19:11:30

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says a resolution expected to be approved by German lawmakers declaring the 1915 killings of Armenians a genocide will damage ties with Berlin.

Speaking at a news conference in the capital Ankara on Wednesday, Yildirim called the resolution "ridiculous."

German lawmakers are expected Thursday to back the symbolic resolution on the massacre by Ottoman Turkish forces a century ago. Turkey strongly rejects the notion that the killings constituted genocide.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Germany of consequences if Berlin goes ahead with the plan.

Erdogan condemned those who were trying to “deceive” Germany about the events.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim

"If Germany is to be deceived by this, then bilateral diplomatic, economic, trade, political, and military ties - we are both NATO countries - will be damaged," he said.

Erdogan also expressed his concern about the plan to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a telephone conversation.

The German parliament’s vote was scheduled to take place in 2015 on the 100th anniversary of the killings. A number of MPs, however, pushed the resolution back repeatedly as they believed it could hurt ties with Turkey.

Germany’s opposition party, the Greens, has pushed the resolution onto the agenda. It comes at a time when Merkel is relying on Turkey to implement a controversial deal with the EU to help slash the number of refugees trying to reach Europe.

The resolution uses the word “genocide” in its topic and text. It also refers to German Empire’s “inglorious” role for failing to stop the killings by its military ally.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Tuesday that he did not believe the resolution would change the view that the country’s Turkish community have of Germany.

He, however, voiced concern that the resolution would cause an "unproductive response" from Ankara.

Yildirim dismissed suggestions that the Armenia bill would impact the refugee deal.

On Armenia, Turkey argues that the there was no organized campaign to wipe out the Armenians and no evidence of any such orders from the Ottoman authorities.

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