UPDATES WITH QUOTES FROM JUSTICE MINISTER, PRESIDENT'S SPOKESMAN, AND ADDS TURKISH LAWMAKERS' JOINT DECLARATION
ANKARA (AA) - The German parliamentary resolution recognizing the deaths of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 as genocide drew a fierce reaction from Turkey on Thursday.
Speaking at an event in Ankara, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called the resolution "fallacious", saying there was nothing in Turkey’s past to be ashamed of.
"The German parliament's acceptance of the so-called Armenian genocide is not something Turkey will accept," Yildirim said.
He also announced the recall of Turkey’s ambassador to Berlin. “We do not hesitate to take necessary steps, not even a second after seeing the resolution text comprehensively,” he said.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus described Thursday’s vote in the Bundestag as “null and void” from a Turkish perspective, effectively saying Ankara would not recognize the resolution.
In a Twitter post, Kurtulmus said scientists and historians should be allowed to reach a conclusion on the deaths, not politicians.
“We certainly will give the necessary answer to this resolution on all platforms,” he tweeted.
He also said that the German parliament's resolution that considers "twisted and baseless claims" as "genocide" was a historical mistake.
He added that the resolution was detrimental to the friendly ties between Turkey and Germany.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted in Turkish: “The way [for those] to close dark pages in history is not to defame the history of other countries through parliamentary resolution.”
Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag also condemned the resolution.
"You [Germans] burned Jews alive in ovens [and] then accuse Turks of so-called genocide. Look at your own history," Bozdag said.
He said the accusations of “genocide” were in fact acts of "defamation" targeting Turkish history and Turkish descendants. "[German] parliament's resolution cannot make these defamations true."
Turkish president’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin called the German resolution a move that reflected the European country's “political unawareness.”
In remarks made to Anadolu Agency in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, Kalin said: “Turkey has nothing to avoid or to come to terms with in its history…Making accusations through the 1915 incidents to try to oppress the Republic of Turkey means you do not know anything about Turkey and its nation.
“We condemn this resolution and it has no meaning and it is invalid for Turkey.”
Meanwhile, parliamentary groups of Turkey’s ruling and two opposition parties also jointly condemned the German resolution.
In a joint declaration made by parliamentary groups of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Thursday evening, lawmakers said the resolution had hurt the Turkish nation.
"We, as representatives of the noble Turkish nation, do not accept [this resolution, and] regret and strongly condemn the unjust decision of the German federal parliament based on the deportation [of Armenians] carried out by the Ottoman Empire in 1915," the declaration said.
"The approval of the resolution has aroused indignation in the Turkish nation," the declaration added, which was read out by Ozgur Ozel, the CHP group deputy chairman.
The opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) did not take part in the declaration, which was applauded by members in the Turkish parliament.
The German parliament approved a non-binding resolution Thursday recognizing Armenian claims of “genocide” during the 1915 events. The resolution was approved by a large majority in the parliament’s lower house, Bundestag.
The resolution was approved by a large majority in the parliament’s lower house, Bundestag.
Merkel, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and senior ministers did not attend the vote. Another lawmaker from Merkel’s party, Oliver Wittke, abstained.
Only one lawmaker from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc, Bettina Kudla, voted against the motion.
The controversial resolution was submitted by the parliamentary groups of the ruling Christian Democrats, its coalition partner Social Democrats, and the opposition, Green Party. The Left party also backed the resolution.
The resolution accuses the Ottoman government of 1915 of allegedly 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 taking place during World War I.
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.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.