German Bundestag recognises Armenian Genocide

By Asbarez | Friday, 03 June 2016

Bundestag’s Historic Vote Further Isolates Turkey, Shines Spotlight on Obama’s Complicity in Denial

BERLIN—The German parliament on Thursday approved a resolution recognising the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I as genocide. The word “genocide” is used in both the text and headline of the resolution, which also states that Germany bears some guilt for its inaction at the time. Following the vote, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Germany “for consultations.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was not present during the vote. Her party, the Christian Democrats (CDU), the Social Democrats (SPD), and the Greens supported the resolution. A spokesperson for Merkel on Wednesday said the while the chancellor supported the measure, she would not attend the legislative hearings.

With German affirmation of the crime, more than 25 countries have officially recognised the Armenian Genocide. The Bundestag vote was nearly unanimous with only one opposed and two abstentions. For over an hour leading up to the historic vote, German parliamentarians spoke in favor of the measure, which affirms the Armenian Genocide and crimes committed against other Christian minorities.

“We welcome the resolution adopted almost unanimously by the ‪#‎German‬ Parliament today, recognizing the ‪Armenian Genocide‬ and those of other minorities in the ‪#‎Ottoman‬ Empire, in 1915-1916. It is a historic day, considering the German-‪‎Turkish‬ alliance in those years. By recognizing the Armenian Genocide the German Parliament, just as the ‪#‎Austrian‬ Parliament did last year, could pave the way for ‪#‎Turkey‬ to come to terms with its past and move forward. Turkey is becoming more and more isolated in its politics of denialism,” said Kaspar Karampetian, president of European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy, after the Bundestag vote on Thursday.

“We congratulate the political groups CDU/CSU, SPD and the Greens on the adoption of the resolution, in particular Cem Özdemir – co-leader of the German Green Party, who played a crucial role, amidst all the pressure. It is a strong message, that all of the speakers emphasized the fact of the Genocide, the German complicity in it and the need for Turkey to recognize it,” added Karampetian.

Dozens of German-Armenian community members gathered outside the German parliament in Berlin on Thursday to celebrate the decision by German lawmakers.

“The overwhelming recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the German Parliament is the biggest diplomatic defeat for Erdogan,” said Mario Nalpatian, Vice President of the Socialist International and member of the International Armenian National Committee on the Bundestag decision.

In an interview with Prensa Armenia news agency, Nalpatian stressed the importance of the resolution “because of the implications that this recognition will have in Turkey and outwards, as the German Empire was an ally and supported the Turkish government that planned and executed the genocide”.

“Germany once again points out the only possible way to Turkey: to assume its guilt and apologize as Willy Brandt did in Auschwitz when he was German Chancellor,” he added.