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Germany's Bundestag passed a resolution qualifying the Ottoman era Armenian killings as 'genocide'

Bundestag passes Armenia 'genocide' resolution unanimously, Turkey recalls ambassador.

Germany's Bundestag passed a resolution qualifying the Ottoman era Armenian killings as 'genocide'. The lower house of parliament voted almost unanimously, with one vote against the motion and one abstention. House speaker Norbert Lammert spoke of a "remarkable majority."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and the leader of the Social Democrats, Sigmar Gabriel, failed to attend the vote on account of other appointments. Critics have said, however, that they deliberately attempted to dodge a difficult vote. Chancellor Merkel did, however, announce after the passing of the resolution that the Bundestag decision to designate the Ottoman killings of Armenians as genocide did not detract from Germany's "amicable and strategic" relationship with Turkey.

Armenia's Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian praised the decision as "Germany's valuable contribution not only to the international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, but also to the universal fight for the prevention of genocides, crimes against humanity."

Diplomatic row

Recently elected Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim blamed "the racist Armenian lobby" for the passing of the resolution and announced that he has called Turkey's Berlin ambassador Hüsein Avni Karslioglu to report in Ankara in response to the vote in the Bundestag. Yildirim claimed that Turkey had nothing in its past that it needed to be ashamed of.

"Ours is a country that prides itself with its past," Yildirm said and added on Twitter that the resolution was "truly testing Germany's friendship with Turkey."

Turkey in isolation

However, it is unlikely that the passing of the resolution would actually put a dent in bilateral affairs, as there are no legal consequences associated with the vote. Turkey has in the past called in ambassadors during similar political disagreements as was the case in 2015 when Austria, Luxembourg and the Vatican passed similar resolutions with regard to the Armenian massacre.

Michael Brand, head of the parliamentary committee on human rights, stressed that he doubted Germany's relationship with Turkey would suffer after the resolution:

"I can't imagine that Turkey, which is currently finding itself isolated in its foreign policies in the face of mounting pressure from IS and the PKK, could afford to sever its ties with Germany - one of its most reliable partners," he told reporters. "This isn't about embarrassing Turkey but about articulating a historical truth. We cannot apply tact when it comes to the truth."
Armweeklynews [02.06.2016]
Germany's Bundestag passed a resolution qualifying the Ottoman era Armenian killings as 'genocide'