Turkey calls Germany's 'genocide' motion 'disgraceful'
Turkish Foreign Ministry says German parliament's resolution is example of ignorance
Turkish Foreign Ministry has slammed German parliament’s resolution calling the deaths of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 as “genocide”, describing the move as “disgraceful”.
In a written statement posted on its official website Thursday, the ministry said: "This resolution is an example of ignorance and disrespect for the law, politicizing history, preventing free discussion on historical issues and trying to impose the self-created taboo of Armenian narrative as an indisputable fact."
According to the statement, achieving reconciliation on 1915 events was possible only through dialogue, empathy and a fair point of view.
"With this understanding, Turkey tries to honor the memory of the Ottoman Armenians, shares their sufferings, preserves Armenian cultural heritage and takes significant steps for paving the way for reconciliation between the two neighboring nations.
"In this respect, there is nothing that Turkey will learn from the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany," the ministry said.
The Turkish ministry also called on Germany to not politicize a historical event, which occurred 101 years ago, and take a fair and objective stance, which was a requirement of European law to which it is a party.
"In this sense, we would like to remind once again the legally-binding observations of the European Court of Human Rights to the effect that the Armenian narrative do not reflect the absolute truth and can be discussed freely; the opinions questioning the Armenian narrative are under the absolute protection of the freedom of speech; and no parallels can be drawn between the events of 1915 and the Holocaust."
Turkey's Ambassador to Germany Huseyin Avni Karslioglu had been recalled for consultations under the circumstances, the statement added.
"We expect that Germany, as our ally and as a country with which we cooperate closely for the future of Europe, will take into consideration our opinions and sensitivities to which we attach vital importance, for the sake of the future of both our bilateral relations as well as Turkey-Europe relations," it said.
Also, German chargé d'affaires in Ankara, Robert Dolger , was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Thursday, according to ministry sources who wished to remain unnamed due to policy reasons. Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Levent Murat Burhan conveyed Turkey's uneasiness over the Bundestag resolution, the sources said.
The non-binding resolution was approved by a large majority in the parliament’s lower house, Bundestag. Only one lawmaker from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc, Bettina Kudla, voted against the motion. Another lawmaker from Merkel’s party, Oliver Wittke, abstained.
The controversial resolution was submitted by the parliamentary groups of the ruling Christian Democrats, its coalition partner Social Democrats, and the opposition, Green Party. The Left party also backed the resolution.
Merkel, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and senior ministers did not attend the vote.
The resolution accuses the Ottoman government of 1915 of allegedly carrying out “systematic genocide” against Armenians, as well as other Christian minorities.
Turkey denies the alleged genocide, but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events taking place during World War I.
According to Turkey's viewpoint, deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.