Germany recognizes Armenian ‘genocide,’ angering Turkey

Soon after the vote, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Germany

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German lawmakers passed a resolution Thursday recognizing the World War I massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide, defying Turkey’s warnings that the vote could hurt ties.

Only one MP voted against and another abstained, as parliament approved overwhelmingly by a show of hands the resolution entitled “Remembrance and commemoration of the genocide of Armenians and other Christian minorities in 1915 and 1916.”

Soon after the vote, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Germany.

The vote heightened tensions between Germany and Turkey at a time when Ankara is playing a key role in stemming the flow of migrants to Europe.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that “this decision will seriously impact Turkish-German relations.”

Speaking during a visit to Kenya, Erdogan said recalling the ambassador for consultations was a “first step” and that the Turkish government would consider further steps to be taken in response to the vote.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called the German decision a “historic error.”

Yildirim said that Turkish people take pride in in their past and that “there is no event in our past that would cause us to bow down our heads in embarrassment.”

Yerevan welcomes vote

Armenia on Thursday welcomed the German parliament’s resolution recognizing the genocide.

“Armenia welcomes the adoption of the resolution by the Bundestag,” Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said in a statement.

He praised the recognition as “Germany’s valuable contribution not only to the international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, but also to the universal fight for the prevention of genocides, crimes against humanity.”

Yerevan has long sought international recognition of the genocide, but Ankara rejects the term to describe the killings more than a century ago and argues that it was a collective tragedy in which equal numbers of Turks and Armenians died.

On Wednesday, Yıldırım urged Germany to exercise “common sense,” saying that the killings were “ordinary” events that took place in wartime conditions.

“This vote is a ridiculous vote,” Yıldırım told reporters.

(With AFP, AP)

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