Genocide debate puts Germany in tough spot with Turkey

As Armenia commemorates 101 years since the Great Crime, Germany is still not sure whether “genocide” is officially the right word. A scheduled early-June debate in the Bundestag could complicate relations with Turkey, according to Deutsche Welle.

April 24 commemorates the 101st anniversary of the events that many historians and a couple of dozen nations commonly refer to as the Armenian Genocide. And, if a plan agreed to by the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, comes to fruition, Germany could also do so soon. Or at the very least discuss doing so – once again.

The decision by the governing coalition, which includes the Social Democrats, was forced when the opposition Greens introduced a resolution in February to recognize the massacre, deportation and starvation of up to 1.5 million Armenians during the dying days of the Ottoman Empire as “genocide.”

The Greens ultimately pulled the measure after the governing coalition agreed to work on a joint resolution. That was good timing for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her EU counterparts ahead of March’s critical summit to seal a controversial deal on refugees and deportations with Turkey.

The Bundestag will likely take up the debate on June 2 – just before the summer parliamentary recess – according to an agreement reached in April between the Greens and the government.

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