The German parliament has withstood a barrage of pressure from the Turkish government, approving a symbolic resolution that declares the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces a ‘genocide’.The vote was almost unanimous in supporting the resolution with just one MP voting against and another abstaining. The move was largely expected and was supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, the German leader was forced to skip the vote due to prior commitments.
“We need to call this what it was – a genocide,” he told the parliament. “The Bunderstag should not allow itself to be blackmailed by Turkey’s threats.”
The news was greeted with delight by dozens of Armenian supporters who had gathered outside the parliament building, and were carrying banners commemorating the genocide.
According to the Christian Democratic Union’s Albert Weiler, Germany had a “historical duty” to recognize the mass killings of Armenians.
“Without this admission there cannot be forgiveness and reconciliation. Suffering does not know temporary boundaries. Genocide will never remain in the past. By recognizing the genocide, it will force the Turkish government to take a brave step and look into its own history,” he said.