ANKARA (AA) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Chancellor Angela Merkel on the phone Tuesday to share Ankara's sensitivities over a German resolution aimed at recognizing the deaths of Armenians in 1915 as "genocide", according to sources from Turkey's Presidency.
Erdogan stressed the need for showing common sense, and approaching Thursday’s debate in a reasonable manner, said the sources, who were not named according to protocol.
The two leaders also reportedly stressed the importance of continuing official talks on the EU-Turkey refugee readmission agreement and visa liberalization, they added.
The EU-Turkey deal aims to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of nearly 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. The deal also aims for the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area.
On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also spoke with Merkel over the phone, calling on the German government and parliament to show common sense over the resolution, prime ministry sources said.
Yildirim also reportedly said Turkey and Turks living in Germany were concerned about the "baseless and unfair" attempt by the German parliament to characterize the 1915 events.
Last year, parliamentary parties had approved the resolution in principle but had sent it to committee for further work.
The deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some sided with the invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey rejects labeling the deaths as "genocide" but acknowledges that large numbers died on both sides.