Developing Story: Bundestag holds debate on Armenian Genocide bill






The German Bundestag is holding a debate on the Armenian Genocide.

Christopher Berdner CDU /CSU

The term genocide is not a legal formulation, we use it to correctly describe the essence of the tragedy. Besides, we need a definite formulation to accept our complicity.

Dietmar Nietan CDU /CSU

Genocide remains genocide and we bow before the memory of the victims. Listen to your heart during the vote. Please, don’t believe all you read in our textbooks and what is being said here in the Bundestag.

When you utter the word genocide, don’t think it’s an offense to Turkey. It’s necessary first of all for strengthening our democracy.

Cem Ozdemir, Alliance ’90/The Greens
Cem Ozdemir 1

Thank you to the coalition for keeping the promise to work out a joint resolution. We tell our colleagues that this is an issue of moral responsibility. This genocide awaits correct presentation in pages of history.  We express our high respect to those Turks who received the order to kill Armenians, but did not obey it.

The story of my Cherkez parents also awaits being called genocide. What’s the most painful is that calling a person “an Armenian” is still seen as an offence in Turkey. I don’t mind being called Armenian.

“When I go home tonight I won’t be arrested or beaten. This isn’t true for my colleagues in Turkey fighting for Armenians.”

Franz Josef Jung

Franz Josef Jung, CDU /CSU

We not only accept that it was genocide, but also acknowledge our responsibility for it. We have to differentiate between the guilt of the Young Turk Government and today’s Turkey.

Today’s Turkey is one of our main partners, which have a number of joint programs with. That’s why it’s important to correctly describe the events of the past in order to build a better future.

We demand to provide scholarships and funding to scholars for joint Armenian-Turkish research works, for the creation of a new commission of historians that will contribute to the opening of the borders.

Norbert Lammert

Norbert Lammert 5Addressing the lawmakers, President of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert first stressed that the Parliament is not a court, not even a commission of historians.

“We, the Germans, are better informed of the dark pages of our history than others, and we have to confess the truth no matter how painful it is. We have to demonstrate a frank and self-criticizing approach. Acknowledgement of the German complicity is very important,” Lammert said.

“Today’s Turkish authorities are not guilty of what happened, but bear responsibility for the events of 100 years ago. This debate is accompanied by protests and rallies. We’re open for any criticism, and take it into consideration, but any attempts to restrict the freedom of speech in the Bundestag are unacceptable. We accept our complicity, this is a fact,” Lammert said.

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