ISTANBUL (AFP)–A German parliamentary resolution adopted Thursday to mark the killings of Armenia’s during World War is "ugly," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said–while other Turkish officials warned the move could cloud bilateral ties.
"I find it politically wrong and furthermore ugly that the German parliament sacrificed the issue without debate to petty [Armenian] lobbying," Erdogan told reporters here late Thursday on his return from a visit to Lebanon.
He chided German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder–whom he said was against the resolution–for not pulling his weight before the vote to persuade his lawmakers to reject the motion.
In a move that has angered Turkey–the Bundestag lower house on Thursday adopted a resolution commemorating the 1915-1917 massacres of Armenia’s under the Ottoman Empire–but stopped short of condemning it as genocide. "The lower house of parliament regrets that an extensive discussion of events in the then Ottoman Empire still is not possible and that academics and writers who want to look into this part of Turkish history are being prosecuted and defamed," the motion said.
The resolution called on the German government "to help Turks and Armenia’s resolve their differences by reviewing–reconciling–and forgiving historical guilt."
The motion also expressed regret that the German government of the time didn’t act to prevent the killings even though it was aware of what was happening.
The Turkish foreign ministry condemned the resolution and warned that the move could have repercussions on bilateral ties.
The issue has taken on increased importance as some European politicians have pressed Turkey to address the Armenian genocide in what Ankara sees a politically-motivated campaign to impede its bid to become a member of the European Union.