Berlin (dpa) – Turkish activist groups demonstrated Saturday in Berlin against a scheduled vote in the German Parliament that could see the government categorize the killing of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire as genocide.
In central Berlin, about 1,000 people carried Turkish flags and chanted mottoes about how the German government is not the correct authority to make war crimes findings.
The German government is set to vote Thursday on whether to officially condemn the displacement and killings of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire as “genocide.”
Armenia and 20 other countries refer to the deaths as a genocide, a designation Turkey has routinely disputed when the question comes up in other countries.
Between 800,000 to 1.5 million members of the Christian minority were estimated to have died during the Armenian massacre in 1915. As the successor to the Ottoman Empire, Turkey acknowledges some of the killings, but vehemently denies that they constitute genocide.
Several members of the German Parliament, particularly those with Turkish ancestry, have come under pressure to reject the upcoming vote.
Cem Ozdemir, head of the opposition Greens, has reported several instances of slander via Facebook and Twitter in which he has been called a “traitor,” “Armenian pig,” “Armenian terrorist” or “Nazi.”
The Turkish government has cautioned Germany against classifying the Ottoman Empire campaign as genocide.
“Speaking about it without historical or legal proof is nothing other than a misuse of political power,” Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said two weeks ago.
Around 1,000 members of pro-Turkish organisations to the streets of Berlin, Saturday, to protest against Bundestag’s vote on a resolution regarding the recognition of the Armenian genocide.
SOT, Yuksel Arslan, member of Turkish association (German): “Parliaments are not courts and parliament is no court. Deputies are neither judges nor historians. We reject politicians judging us on our coexistence and Turkish history. Turkish history cannot be written by politicians. Turkish history has to be placed in Turkish school books correctly. We demand from all the deputies of the parliament to be fair and that they cannot judge upon historical events.”
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