Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday to warn Germany’s parliament against passing a resolution recognizing the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
The resolution welcomed by Armenia has been drafted by lawmakers representing Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), and the opposition Green Party. The Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, is scheduled to debate it on Thursday.
“If Germany is to be deceived by this, then bilateral diplomatic, economic, trade, political, and military ties - we are both NATO countries - will be damaged,” Reuters quoted Erdogan as telling reporters after the phone call with Merkel.
A German government spokesman confirmed the call took place and said the two also discussed the implementation of the EU-Turkey migrant deal.
Turkey’s newly installed Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also voiced serious concern at the planned resolution when he spoke to Merkel over the phone on Monday. “Hurriyet Daily News” quoted Yildirim as saying that it contains “baseless and unfair judgments.”
Successive governments in Ankara have vehemently denied that the Ottoman Turks sought to exterminate the Armenian population of their crumbling empire during the First World War. They have strongly condemned two dozen nations, including Russia, France, Canada and Italy, that have recognized the slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians as genocide.
Armenia’s leaders hailed the German draft resolution when they met with the Bundestag’s deputy speaker, Edelgard Bulmahn, in Yerevan last week.
German President Joachim Gauck publicly recognized the genocide in April 2015 at a ceremony in Berlin that marked its 100th anniversary. Gauck also suggested Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany itself might bear some of the blame for the tragedy because it was allied to the Ottoman Empire during the 1914-1918 war.