Sunday, 5 June 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... More on Bundestag Vote
Turkey recalls Berlin envoy after Armenia Genocide vote
02 Jun 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Ankara called back its ambassador to Berlin in protest after German
MPs voted through a resolution to call the killing of Armenians by the
Ottoman Empire a genocide on Thursday.

The Turkish government has described the Bundestag’s approval of the
Armenian genocide bill “null and void,” the Hurriyet Daily News

“The fact that the German Parliament approved distorted and baseless
claims as genocide is a historic mistake. The German Parliament’s
approval of this bill is not a decision in line with friendly
relations between Turkey and Germany. This decision is null and void
for Turkey,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said.

“This is an issue that scientists and historians need to reach a
conclusion on, not politicians or parliaments. As Turkey, we will
surely give the necessary response to this decision in all platforms,”
he added.

Meanwhile, Turkish Ambassador to Berlin Hüseyin Avni Karslıoglu has
been recalled toAnkara for consultations over the decision.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavuşoglu took to Twitter to criticize the vote.

“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,” Cavuşoğlu tweeted. 
German vote on Armenian Genocide: Turkey vows to take steps in response
02 Jun 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara will take
retaliatory measures after the German parliament voted to recognize as
‘genocide’ the 1915 Armenian massacre. Turkey has already recalled its
ambassador to Germany in protest, Russia Today reports.

Ambassador Huseyin Avni Karslioglu is expected to fly back to Turkey
on Thursday afternoon according to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Turkey has also decided to summon Germany’s charge d’affaires to the
Foreign Ministry in Ankara following the vote.

The Turkish government reacted furiously to the decision made by the
German parliament to pass the motion, which was almost unanimous, with
just one person voting against and another abstaining.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is currently on a state
visit to Kenya, has said the German resolution will seriously impact
relations between the two countries.

He also added that following the return of ambassador Karslioglu to
Turkey, the government would discuss what steps Ankara will take in

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim condemned the move and said in a speech
in the Turkish capital Ankara that a “racist Armenian lobby” was
responsible for the decision made by the German parliament.

The ruling AK Party in Turkey said the move had seriously damaged
relations between the two countries, while Turkish Deputy Prime
Minister Numan Kurtulmus was equally scathing, calling the resolution
a“historic mistake.” 

Hurriyet, Turkey
June 2 2016
Turkey calls Germany’s approval of ‘Armenian genocide bill’ 
null and void

The Turkish government has described the Bundestag’s approval of the
Armenian genocide bill “null and void.”

“The fact that the German Parliament approved distorted and baseless
claims as genocide is a historic mistake. The German Parliament’s
approval of this bill is not a decision in line with friendly
relations between Turkey and Germany. This decision is null and void
for Turkey," Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said.

"This is an issue that scientists and historians need to reach a
conclusion on, not politicians or parliaments. As Turkey, we will
surely give the necessary response to this decision in all platforms,”
he added.

Meanwhile, Turkish Ambassador to Berlin Hüseyin Avni Karslıoğlu has
been recalled toAnkara for consultations over the decision.

The Turkish president said the decision would affect relations between
Germany and Turkey, adding that Ankara's first step would be to recall
its ambassador for consultations.

Erdoğan said Turkey would discuss the issue and make a final decision
after these consultations.

“This decision that the German Parliament has taken is actually a
decision that will seriously affect Germany-Turkey relations. We will
make evaluations after returning [to Turkey] about steps to be taken.
Then we will take the necessary steps that we have to take,” Erdoğan
told reporters in Kenya.

Prime Minister Binalı Yıldırım said Ankara could "not accept" such a decision.

“This decision approved in Germany is a mistaken one. There is no
shameful incident in our past. This is not a decision that Turkey
could ever approve,” Yıldırım said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu took to Twitter to criticize the vote.

“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,” Çavuşoğlu tweeted.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has also dismissed
the decision as "null and void."

“We are deeply saddened by the German Federal Parliament’s approval of
the bill that defines the 1915 incidents as genocide. We strongly
condemn this. The decision is null and void for us,” CHP Deputy Chair
Öztürk Yılmaz said.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has also condemned the approval
of the bill.

“Although the German government does not want to accept it, the
Turkish nation has a taintless, glorious and noble history. The
Nationalist Movement Party condemns the distorted decision of the
German Federal Parliament and awaits for the urgent correction of this
serious mistake,” MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli said. 
Angela Merkel: Germany supports dialogue between Turkey 
and Armenia
02 Jun 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Germany has broad and strong relations with Turkey despite differences
on some issues, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday after
lawmakers passed a resolution describing the 1915 massacres of
Armenians by Ottoman forces as “genocid,” Reuters reports.

Turkey, which rejects the description, has recalled its ambassador to
Germany in response.

“There is a lot that binds Germany to Turkey and even if we have a
difference of opinion on an individual matter, the breadth of our
links, our friendship, our strategic ties, is great,” Merkel said at a
news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

She added that Germany supported dialogue between Turkey and Armenia
and sought good relations with Ankara.

CTV, Canada
June 2 2016
Turkey recalls Germany ambassador after Armenian genocide vote

Geir Moulson and Suzan Fraser, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, June 2, 2016 5:22AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 2, 2016 9:28AM EDT

BERLIN -- Germany's parliament overwhelmingly voted Thursday to label
the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago as genocide,
prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador to Germany.

The motion, which was put forward by Chancellor Angela Merkel's
governing coalition of right and left and the opposition Greens,
passed with support from all the parties in Parliament. In a show of
hands, there was one abstention and one vote against.

The vote heightened tensions between Germany and Turkey at a time when
Ankara is playing a key role in stemming the flow of migrants to

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that "this decision will
seriously impact Turkish-German relations."

Speaking during a visit to Kenya, Erdogan said recalling the
ambassador for consultations was a "first step" and that the Turkish
government would consider further steps to be taken in response to the
vote. Turkey's foreign ministry also summoned the German charge
d'affairs in Ankara to protest the vote as the ambassador was out of
town, according to a Foreign Ministry official.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called the German decision a
"historic error." Yildirim said that Turkish people take pride in in
their past and that "there is no event in our past that would cause us
to bow down our heads in embarrassment."

Armenia's foreign minister welcomed the vote.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by
Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event viewed by many
scholars as the 20th century's first genocide.

Turkey denies that the killings that started in 1915 were genocide and
contends the dead were victims of civil war and unrest. Ankara also
insists the death toll has been inflated.

Merkel, who wasn't present for the vote because of what officials said
were scheduling reasons, later stressed the close and friendly
relations between Germany and Turkey. She added, however, that
"controversial arguments over some questions are part of a democratic

Opening Thursday's debate, Parliament speaker Norbert Lammert
acknowledged that addressing historical events can be painful.

"But we have also seen that an honest and self-critical appraisal of
the past does not endanger relations with other countries," he said.
"In fact, it is a precondition for understanding, reconciliation and

He said Turkey's current government is not responsible for what
happened 100 years ago, "but it shares responsibility for what happens
with it in the future."

When other countries have called the killings genocide it has led to
diplomatic strife with Turkey, but not lasting damage.

Last year, for example, Turkey temporarily recalled its ambassadors to
Vienna and the Vatican after Austria and Pope Francis described the
killings as genocide.

The German motion says that the Armenians' fate "is exemplary for the
history of mass destruction, ethnic cleansing, expulsions and
genocides which marks the 20th century in such a terrible way."

That echoes the words German President Joachim Gauck used in a speech
in April last year. His comments marked a shift in Germany's stance
after officials previously avoided the term.

Turkey was irked by Gauck's words, which were supported by the German
government, but there were no serious consequences for German-Turkish

The motion stresses that Germany is aware of the "uniqueness" of the
Nazi Holocaust and it "regrets the inglorious role" of Germany, the
Ottoman Turks' main military ally at the time of the Armenians'
killings, of failing to stop the "crime against humanity."

It also urges the German government to "encourage" Turkey to "deal
openly with the expulsions and massacres" in order to "lay the
necessary foundation stone for a reconciliation with the Armenian

Merkel said the German government hopes that Turkey and Armenia will
work together on how to approach their history.

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said Germany had made a
"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."

In February, as the EU prepared for a summit with Turkey, the Greens
agreed to withdraw a motion on the killings in exchange for assurances
from the governing parties that they would draw up a joint resolution.
While it is symbolically significant, it has no legal effect.

Thursday's vote comes amid tension between Turkey and the European
Union over the EU's conditions for granting visa-free entry for Turks.
Speeding that up was one of the incentives for Turkey to accept a deal
with the EU, championed by Merkel, on curbing migrant flows to Europe.

Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian behaviour is also causing concern
in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

In Berlin, centre-left lawmaker Rolf Muetzenich said that "the motion
is not an indictment."

"We as lawmakers will not let ourselves be intimidated ... by whatever
side," he said.

Suzan Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey. David Rising in Berlin
contributed to this report. 

Expatica Germany
June  2 2016
Key facts on the disputed Armenian genocide
2nd June 2016,  

German lawmakers vote Thursday on a resolution branding the massacre
of Armenians by Ottoman forces a genocide, drawing angry warnings from
Turkey that it could harm relations.

Here are the key facts and background on the 1915-1917 massacres and
deportations, the focus of the longstanding Turkish-Armenian
diplomatic standoff:

- Historical background -

Following centuries of alternating Ottoman and Persian rule, Armenians
by the mid-19th century lived across the Russian and Ottoman empires.

Between 1.7 and 2.3 million Armenians were living in eastern provinces
of the Ottoman Empire by 1915, according to estimates of Western

Ottoman authorities had been suspicious about the loyalty of Armenian
subjects since the late 19th century when a nationalist movement
gained momentum, seeking autonomy from Ottoman rule.

An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 Armenians are thought to have been
killed in 1895-1896 in the so-called Hamidian massacres under sultan
Abdul Hamid II. In 1905 he narrowly escaped an Armenian attempt to
assassinate him with a bomb.

In 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of Germany
and Austria-Hungary.

As major battles erupted in Armenian-inhabited provinces, the Ottoman
authorities unleashed a propaganda campaign portraying Armenians as an
"enemy within".

On April 24, 1915, hundreds of Armenian community leaders and
intellectuals suspected of being hostile to the Ottoman government
were rounded up in Constantinople, present-day Istanbul.

Most of them were later executed or deported.

April 24 is commemorated by Armenians as Genocide Remembrance Day.

- Chain of events -

Following two laws authorising deportation of Armenians and
confiscation of their property, hundreds of thousands were marched
into a desert in present-day Syria. Those who survived were put into
25 concentration camps.

Armenians were subjected to mass shooting, burning and poisoning,
according to accounts by foreign diplomats and intelligence agents at
the time.

On October 30, 1918, the Ottoman Empire surrendered to the Allied
powers -- Britain, Russia and France. The armistice agreement provided
for the return of Armenian deportees to their homes.

In February 1919, a court-martial in Constantinople found a number of
top Ottoman officials guilty of war crimes, including against
Armenians, and sentenced them to death, though failed to prosecute
those who had fled the country.

- Conflicting versions -

Armenia says up to 1.5 million people were killed between 1915 and
1917 and has long pushed for international recognition of the killings
as genocide.

Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, accepts that
massacres and deportations were carried out but describes the
bloodshed as an internecine conflict.

Ankara argues that 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians and at least as many
Turks died in civil strife when Armenians rose up against their
Ottoman rulers and sided with invading Russian troops.

In April 2014, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the first
time offered his condolences over the massacres, calling them "our
shared pain".

Yerevan dismissed the statement.

- Historical evidence -

The massacres were abundantly documented in numerous official records
and accounts of eyewitnesses, including by foreign diplomats.

Describing the bloodshed in a July 1915 cable to the Department of
State, the US ambassador Henry Morgenthau said: "A campaign of race
extermination is in progress under a pretext of reprisal against

Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin, who in the 1940s coined the word
genocide, cited the massacres as a defining example of the term's

In 2000, 126 scholars -- including Nobel Prize-winner Elie Wiesel,
historian Yehuda Bauer, and sociologist Irving Horowitz -- published a
statement in The New York Times, affirming that "the World War I
Armenian genocide is an incontestable historical fact".

- 'Intent to destroy' -

The 1948 UN Genocide Convention defines the crime as acts "committed
with intent to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnical, racial
or religious group".

Yerevan says that the Armenian massacres are today recognised as
genocide by more than 20 countries, including France and Russia, as
well as the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.

US President Barack Obama had pledged in his campaign that he "will
recognise the Armenian genocide" if elected, but has thus far avoided
using the politically charged term, stressing however that his "view
of that history has not changed".

No comments: