BERLIN (AA) – A spokesman for Turkey’s president criticized the German parliament on Monday, accusing it of “undermining” Ankara’s efforts to reconcile with Armenia.
Ibrahim Kalin, writing in a guest op-ed published by German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in “rewarding Armenia's lack of interest in meaningful progress, Germany made the Caucasus a more dangerous place”.
“Under the pretext of promoting peace between Turks and Armenians, the German parliament ignored Yerevan's uncompromising stance and unjustly targeted Turkey,” Kalin added.
The spokesman was referring to the controversial resolution approved by the German parliament last week which described as "genocide" the 1915 relocation of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.
Kalin dismissed the term, saying the accusation directed against Turkey had no legal basis or supporting evidence.
“This politically motivated decision is unlawful, misguided and ultimately harmful to the prospect of reconciliation between Turks and Armenians,” he wrote.
Kalin stressed that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the first Turkish politician to acknowledge the pain suffered by Ottoman Armenians in World War I and had taken various initiatives so far to promote dialogue between Turks and Armenians.
However, Kalin wrote that Turkey’s approaches for normalizing relations plus proposals for the creation of a joint commission of historians as well as an examination of archived materials were turned down by the Armenian authorities.
“Instead of accusing Turkey with false claims, Germany should put pressure on Armenia to proceed with efforts to resolve the conflict,” Kalin stated.
The non-binding resolution approved by German parliament last Thursday accused the Ottoman government of 1915 of carrying out “systematic genocide” against Armenians, as well as other Christian minorities.
Turkey denies the alleged genocide, but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events.
According to Turkey's viewpoint, deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.