20 ապրիլ, 2015 21:55

German Government Set to Support Armenian Genocide Resolution

German bundestagAccording to Reuters, the German government has backpedaled from its historic refusal to use the term genocide when referring to the slaughter of the Armenian nation by Ottoman Turkey.

“In a major reversal in Turkey's top trading partner in the European Union and home to millions of Turks, Germany joins other nations and institutions including France, the European parliament and Pope Francis in using the term condemned by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan,” reported Reuters.

Business Standard writes that a draft of a non-binding motion that will be debated in the Bundestag scheduled for April 24, states that the fate of the Armenians “is exemplary for the history of mass destruction, ethnic cleansing, expulsions and genocides by which the 20th century is marked in such a terrible way.”

Steffen Seibert, the spokesperson of German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the government would support the resolution, backing away from its previous position of refusing to use the word genocide. Reuters notes that the coalition government came under pressure from parliamentarians within their own ranks to use the word in the resolution.

"The government backs the draft resolution...in which the fate of the Armenians during World War One serves as an example of the history of mass murders, ethnic cleansing, expulsions and, yes, the genocides during the 20th century," Seibert said.

Bloomberg writes, "Germany has been under pressure from some of its European partners to follow their example and more fully recognize the depth of the Armenian tragedy. Germany maintains that the onus is on Turkey to publicly come to terms with its past actions, as Germany did with the Holocaust."

As Turkey continues its official state policy of denying the Armenian Genocide, it decided to hold the centenary of the Gallipoli Battle on April 24 this year, the same day Armenians commemorate the anniversary of the Genocide in an apparent attempt to divert the world’s attention.

To date, many heads of state have refused to take part in the Gallipoli commemoration, including Angela Merkel and German President Joachim Gauck. Instead, Markus Grubel, the state secretary at the Federal Ministry of Defense, will join the Gallipoli commemorations.

President Gauck has chosen to stay in Germany to participate in the centennial commemorative events for the Armenian Genocide in Berlin. By the invitation of Germany’s Christian Churches, Gauck will participate in the mass to be held at the Berlin Cathedral on April 23. He will become the first German president to participate in an Armenian Genocide commemoration event, where he is set to give a speech.

According to an article that appeared on Euroactive, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster told Tagesspiegel that the mass slaughter of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were “directly murdered or starved and died of thirst in the desert.” He went on to say, “This terrible event should be called what it was: a genocide.”