Berlin, June 2 (IANS) Germany’s parliament on Thursday approved a resolution declaring that the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during the First World War was a “genocide”.
More than 20 nations, including France and Russia, as well as Pope Francis, have recognised the 1915 killings where over 1.5 million Armenians were killed as genocide, BBC reported.
Chancellor Angela Merkel was not in the Bundestag (parliament) for the vote.
Her Christian Democrats (CDU), their coalition partners the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens all supported the resolution, and the vote in favour was overwhelming.
Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan hailed the resolution and said it was a “valuable contribution” to the “international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian genocide”.
However, Turkey has slammed the move, and has warned that it could hurt ties.
The country has denied that there was a systematic campaign to slaughter Christian Armenians as an ethnic group during the First World War. It also pointed out that many Turkish civilians also died in the turmoil during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim responded by saying he would withdraw his ambassador to Germany “for consultations”.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus called the move a “historic mistake”.
Before the approval, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan phoned Merkel, warning that ties would suffer “if (Germany) falls into such a game”.
It has rejected the term genocide.