German parliament labels Armenians' killings as genocide

2016-06-02 20:34
Representatives of the Christian Church of Armenia attend a meeting of the German federal parliament in Berlin during the debate on the genocide label of Armenian killings. (Michael Sohn, AP)

Representatives of the Christian Church of Armenia attend a meeting of the German federal parliament in Berlin during the debate on the genocide label of Armenian killings. (Michael Sohn, AP)

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Berlin - The German parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a motion labeling the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago as genocide, a decision that Turkey's prime minister said would "test" relations between the two countries at a sensitive time.

The resolution, 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.

Merkel was not present with officials citing scheduling reasons. However, her spokesperson Christiane Wirtz has made clear that the chancellor supported the motion.

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said this week his country would not nix a deal with the European Union on curbing the flow of migrants to Europe over the motion, but told party officials in Ankara earlier that the vote was a "true test of friendship."

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.


Read more on:    angela merkel  |  germany

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