Germany votes to recognise Armenian genocide

This is good news! Germany becomes 27th nation to recognise the appalling atrocities of the Armenian genocide during the years 1915-1923, when an estimated million and a half Armenians were exterminated by the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey). It was masterminded and perpetrated by the government of Young Turks according to the Armenian account, which has been backed by the European Parliament and a number of national governments.  

From the Catholic Herald, Thursday 2nd June.

 Recognition Now protesters outside the Bundestag hold signs saying 'RecognitionNow says Thank you' (AP)

‘Recognition Now’ protesters outside the Bundestag hold signs that now says ‘Thank you’ (AP)

Turkey’s prime minister said it would “test” relations between the two countries at a sensitive time

Germany’s parliament has overwhelmingly voted 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 Europe.

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 culture.”

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 cooperation.”

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 relations.

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 people.”

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.

In Berlin, center-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.

[Ed. “Why Pope Francis was right to call the Armenian massacres ‘genocide’.”]

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9 Responses to Germany votes to recognise Armenian genocide

  1. It’s good that the Bundestag voted to recognize the Armenian genocide while at the same time acknowledging Germany’s own involvement in the massacre, but when Rolf Muetzenich says, “We as lawmakers will not let ourselves be intimidated … by whatever side,” you have to wonder why neither Chancellor Merkel nor Vice-Chancellor Gabriel nor Foreign Minister Steinmeier were present in the Bundestag chamber when the vote was taken.

  2. kathleen says:

    How cowardly and deceitful the Turkish Government is being in their stubborn refusal to admit the blatant truth: that their now defunct Ottoman Empire committed a brutal genocide against the Armenians 100 years ago! Other nations like Germany have recognised their ‘sins of the past’ and come clean, but Turkey appears to lack the guts and moral honesty to do so.

    It’s important to point out that the Armenians were massacred not because they were Armenians, but because they were Christians!

    The Ottoman Turks (who were Muslim of course) were following what their faith commanded them to do, which is to conquer all lands for their false god, Allah. Much like they continue to do today in many parts of the world. Islamic Turkey in 1915 is no different than the ISIS of our day, butchering Christians and everyone else who they find in their path.

    Islam’s current conquest of Europe is more subtle though, effectuated by mass (mostly illegal) immigration and reproduction. Wake up, Europe!

  3. johnhenrycn says:

    All this animus directed at Muslims is wearing thin. Look beneath the surface if you sincerely wish to understand them. Respect them for who they are.

  4. Brother Burrito says:

    JH,

    I can only say that all the muslims that I personally know are wonderful caring human beings who I personally warm to.

    Where I take issue with their faith is in its ability to foster zealots, extremists and terrorists.

    Quel surprise when I look at all other religious faiths and see exactly the same abilities therein. Gee, is there a connection?

    Yep, all human thoughts and words and actions are prone to the influence of Original Sin, the spiritual disease we are all born with.

    Only Catholic Christianity makes this diagnosis, and offers the cure, in early childhood usually.

    So why are so many of the Baptised still walking around being so wicked? That is because so many of them neglect to be regularly shriven in the Confessional, that’s why.

    In our age of easy disposability, we have lost the sense that everything needs care and maintenance, even our immortal souls.

  5. toadspittle says:

    “Islam’s current conquest of Europe is more subtle though, effectuated by mass (mostly illegal) immigration and reproduction. Wake up, Europe!”
    What will we do when we’ve woken up, Kathleen?

    “… all human thoughts and words and actions are prone to the influence of Original Sin, the spiritual disease we are all born with. Only Catholic Christianity makes this diagnosis, and offers the cure, in early childhood usually.”
    And what are the results of this cure, Bro B? Because I see none. Fair bit of venom and vitriol, though.
    It’s my contention (as you surely know by now) that Catholics are just as diseased as the rest of us.

  6. kathleen says:

    Toad asks: “What will we do when we’ve woken up, Kathleen?”

    You mean you really don’t know, Toad? Amazing!

    We need to get back to valuing and living our glorious Christian heritage.
    That means basically looking towards Christ, Our Saviour, and aiming to be more ‘Christlike’ ourselves; picking up our daily cross with humility and joy and re-embracing true Christian virtues; resisting the evil laws of our secular, atheistic governments and the satanical ‘gender theory’ falsehoods they promote. It also means married couples should be open to life and against the culture of death, so rampant in Europe at these times that has allowed the birthrate of all western nations to plummet…

    Now, do your homework and add onto this list above. I’m off to bed. Night, night… zzzzzz

    P.S. If Europeans were to return to a passionate love of their Christian (Catholic) roots once more, Islam would no longer pose a threat to us.

  7. toadspittle says:

    What I’m trying to do here, (as any fule can see) – is to provoke Kathleen into declaring that The West must do – is to break out the rosaries and re-stage The Battle of Lepanto.
    …This time with added drones.

  8. toadspittle says:

    “If Europeans were to return to a passionate love of their Christian (Catholic) roots once more, Islam would no longer pose a threat to us.”
    We start loving Christ again, and the Muslims all go belly up? Possible, I suppose.
    Like in the middle ages. The Good Old Days of centuries of religious war and misery.
    “It also means married couples should be open to life and against the culture of death, so rampant in Europe at these times that has allowed the birthrate of all western nations to plummet…”

    ….
    [Two sentences of vulgarities deleted by a CP&S moderator]

  9. kathleen says:

    The highly acclaimed Turkish author of great integrity, Orhan Pamuk, who won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature, has long advocated for Turkey to recognise ite Armenian and Kurdish genocidal actions. As a result of his honesty he has been subjected to a virulent hate campaign in Turkey.

    But let’s get back to some of the myths bandied about by our liberals and modernists concerning Islam…

    The “zealots, extremists and terrorists” of other “religious faiths” are a tiny minute fraction compared to those from the religion of Islam. This is a fact. To even insinuate that Christians (because that is who we are talking about here, as we all know) have throughout history EVER tortured, raped and murdered their opponents in anything resembing the Muslim jihadists’ record, they are either living in cloud cuckoo land, or they are lying.

    To play down the violence inherent in Islam knowing, as we do, that countless Christians are enduring unimaginable suffering, including daily martyrdom, on a large scale today is a betrayal of our brothers in Christ. Even amongst an inherently violent religion spread “by the sword” like Islam, their current atrocities towards non-Muslims are something quite unprecedented in recent centuries. The militant Islamists even direct their wrath towards their own peaceful Muslims who oppose them.

    Naturally we all know Muslims who are friendly and non-violent, both in word and in deed. These millions are probably even in the majority among their co-religionists…. for were they not so, the whole world would have become a bloodbath long ago, and the survivors among us forced into conversion to Islam!!

    Where does Islam’s violence come from? From their ‘prophet’, naturally, who founded their religion. Mohammad was a cruel warmongerer who incited his followers to kill ‘the infidel’, i.e., the non-Muslim.
    Those who disobey and reject these commands, refusing to follow ‘jihad’, are accused of being “bad Muslims” by the extremists!

    Where does the love and kindness that are the hallmarks of Christianity come from? From Our Lord Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, of course, He Who is Love Itself, and Who died for our sins to save us from eternal death.
    Those who disobey and reject Our Saviour’s commandments laid out by the One Church He founded to continue His mission on earth, do so at their peril.

    One ray of hope shines through all this: an increasing number of Muslim immigrants into Europe are converting to Christianity. God bless them.

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