The Turkish foreign ministry has condemned Germany’s use of the word “genocide” this week to describe the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago. The ministry warned of long-term negative consequences, Deutsche Welle reports.
The Turkish government’s statement, issued late on Friday, claimed German President Joachim Gauck didn’t have “the right to attribute to the Turkish people a crime which they have not committed.”
It also warned Germany that it had angered its large Turkish population, saying they “will not forget and forgive President Gauck’s statements.”
Gauck made the comments earlier in the week at a memorial service in Berlin, calling Turkey’s Ottoman Empire killings of Armenians “genocide.”
He also acknowledged Germany’s role in the slaughter, saying rumors of the intention to wipe out the Armenian people were ignored.
On Friday Germany’s parliamentary speaker, Norbert Lammert, said that Germany’s own history made it even more important for it to stand up on the subject.
“We Germans cannot lecture anyone about dealing with their past, but we can, through our own experiences, encourage others to confront their history – even when it hurts,” he said.
Germany’s parliament is expected to vote on a motion to officially declare the killings of Armenians as “genocide” before its summer break.