• Germany's news in English
Armenia: don't let Erdogan bully you on genocide bill
A protest sign outside the German parliament reads 'genocide'. Photo: DPA

Armenia: don't let Erdogan bully you on genocide bill

AFP · 1 Jun 2016, 12:39

Published: 01 Jun 2016 12:39 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

On the eve of the Bundestag vote, Armenian President Serge Sarkissian told Bild daily: "It would not be fair to not call the genocide of Armenians genocide just because that makes the head of state of another country angry."

"I am sure that Bundestag politicians see it this way too and will not be intimidated," he added.

In Ankara, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stepped up pressure against the vote, calling it "absurd", and warned of consequences for ties with Germany if the resolution were passed.

Yildirim's call adds to a similar warning by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who also telephoned Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday over the resolution.

Put forward by Germany's 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" also carries the contested word throughout the text.

Turkey and Armenia have long been at loggerheads over the World War I-era massacre.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their kin were killed between 1915 and 1917 as the Ottoman Empire was falling apart but modern Turkey rejects the claim.

Ankara argues that 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians and as many Turks died in civil strife when Armenians rose up against their Ottoman rulers.

Warning of a "negative impact" on ties between Ankara and Berlin if the resolution is passed, Turkey's prime minister said: "The text has no value for us. It will be null and void."

"It's an absurd vote. History should be left to the historians," Yildirim told journalists in Ankara.

Story continues below…

The vote comes at a particularly awkward time, as Germany and the European Union need Ankara to help stem a migrant influx even as tensions are rising over a string of issues, including human rights.

The issue is also particularly sensitive in Germany, as it has special ties with Ankara not least due to its three-million-strong ethnic Turkish population which settled following a massive "guest worker" programme in the 1960s and 1970s.

More than 20 nations, including France and Russia, have recognised the Armenian genocide.


For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd