Turkey says German vote on Armenian 'genocide' a 'test of friendship'
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) People with Turkish flags protest against the resolution German lawmakers are preparing to pass that recognises the massacre ofArmenians by Ottoman forces, in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on June 1, 2016.AFP / John MACDOUGALL
Ankara: German lawmakers' planned vote to recognise the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide, will test the "friendship" between Berlin and Ankara, Turkey said Thursday.
The resolution "will amount to a real test of the friendship" between the two nations, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.
"Some nations that we consider friends, when they are experiencing trouble in domestic policy attempt to divert attention from it," he said at a meeting of his Justice and Development Party (AKP). "This resolution is an example of that."
He stopped short of threatening Germany with political and economic retaliation, but added "3.5 million Turks live in Germany and actively contribute to the economy."
Put forward by the ruling left-right coalition and the opposition Greens, the resolution entitled "Remembrance and commemoration of the genocide of Armenians and other Christian minorities in 1915 and 1916" also carries the contentious word throughout the text.
The vote comes at a particularly awkward time as Germany and the European Union need Turkey to help stem a record influx of migrants even as tensions are rising between both sides over human rights and other issues.
Yerevan has long sought international recognition of the "genocide", but Ankara rejects the use of the term to describe the World War I-era killings and argues that it was a collective tragedy in which equal numbers of Turks and Armenians died.