A year ago, Germany’s Green Party wanted to hold a vote on responsibility for the Ottoman massacres, a systematic expulsion and annihilation of over 1 million ethnic Armenians in 1915.
Germany delayed the vote, not wanting to upset Turkey. Instead, Germany held the vote today, upsetting Turkey much more.
After a near-unanimous vote, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Germany calling the vote, “null and void”.
Turkish Protest in Berlin
Germany Angers Turkey with Genocide Vote
Please consider Germany Angers Turkey with Genocide Vote.
Germany’s parliament condemned the Ottoman massacres of ethnic Armenians as genocide on Thursday in a vote that could damage ties with Turkey and complicate handling of Europe’s migrant crisis.
MPs voted almost unanimously for the motion despite the reservations of the government which battled for months for a delay for fear of the reaction of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, who is often criticised for authoritarianism.
Ankara immediately recalled its ambassador for consultations in response to what the Turkish government described as a “null and void” vote.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, foreign minister, said on Twitter: “The way to close dark pages in [Germany’s] own history is not to defame the history of other countries with irresponsible and baseless parliament decisions.”
Mr Erdogan warned this week that passing the resolution would harm “all diplomatic, economic, trade, political, military and Nato relations”. He reacted to the vote by warning of a “serious impact on bilateral relations”, adding that Turkey would consider further actions soon.
Ahead of the vote, Binali Yildirim, Turkey’s prime minister, described the debate as a “test of friendship”. The dispute also comes in the wake of a fragile EU-Turkey deal championed by Ms Merkel that has so far halted refugee flows across the Aegean.
That pact could collapse because Mr Erdogan’s goal of visa-free travel for 80m Turks is mired in EU politics and unlikely to be delivered before October.
The diplomatic arguments have resounded around Germany, prompting pro-Ankara demonstrations from the large ethnic Turkish community, and even death threats to MPs.
More than 20 countries, including France and Russia, as well as Pope Francis, recognize the 1915 killings as genocide.
The US has not, partly out of concern at alienating Turkey, a Nato ally and key Middle East partner.
Lie of the Day
German chancellor Angela Merkel immediately sought to limit the damage, saying ties with Turkey were “broad and strong”.
As proof of the “strength” of the relationship, Turkey pulled its ambassador and Erdogan is “considering actions”.
The “test of friendship” clearly failed.
Will Turkey cancel its refugee agreement with the EU?
If so, that would be a positive outcome for Europe, albeit one that would cause a lot of short term pain.
The benefit is the EU would have to come up with a real solution to the refugee mess rather than making a bargain with the devil.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock