Turkey’s ties with Germany have been damaged following the German parliament’s resolution recognizing “a historical lie” about Armenian claims of “genocide” during the 1915 events, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said.
In his address to representatives of nongovernmental organizations at an event in northeastern Erzincan province Saturday, Yildirim said: “German parliament has approved…a lie. These people who consider the relocation which happened everywhere in World War I a hundred years ago as genocide should be aware of that Turkey is proud of its history and nation. If you reopen old wounds, Turkey was the least contributor.”
He asked Germany to look into the crimes of Armenians during the war. “[Claiming that] Turks carried out genocide in 1915 is a historical lie. If you are keen to know what is genocide, remember the people who were roasted alive by Armenians in cooperation with Russians in wake of War World I in Erzincan province, which was then under Russian occupation.”
On Thursday, the lower house of the German parliament approved a non-binding resolution recognizing Armenian claims of “genocide” during the 1915 events.
The resolution accused the Ottoman government of 1915 of allegedly carrying out “systematic genocide” against Armenians, as well as other Christian minorities.
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.
Turkey denies the alleged Armenian “genocide”, but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events taking place in 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.