BERLIN, Germany (A.W.)—The co-leader of the German Green Party Cem Özdemir—a German member of parliament (MP) of Turkish origin and one of the initiators of the Armenian Genocide resolution that was approved by Germany’s Parliament on June 2—says he has received several death threats since the adoption of the bill.
“We’re well used to abuse and insults, but we’ve never experienced so many death threats before,” Özdemir’s assistant Marc Berthold told the BBC.
Ankara Mayor Ibrahim Melih Gokcek tweeted the names and photographs of the 11 German MPs of Turkish origin who supported the Armenian Genocide resolution, saying they “stabbed us in the back.”
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also scolded the German MPs of Turkish origin, saying, “What sort of Turks are they?” and that “their blood must be tested in a lab,” according to the BBC.
The word “genocide” is used in both the text and headline of the resolution, which also states that Germany bears some guilt for its inaction at the time. Following the vote, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Germany “for consultations.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was not present during the vote. Her party, the Christian Democrats (CDU), as well as the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens supported the resolution.
With German affirmation of the crime, more than 25 countries have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. The Bundestag vote was nearly unanimous with only one opposed and two abstentions. For over an hour leading up to the historic vote, German parliamentarians spoke in favor of the measure, which affirms the Armenian Genocide and crimes committed against other Christian minorities.
Following the vote, the president of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD), Kaspar Karampetian, welcomed the resolution and praised Özdemir’s courage. “It is a historic day, considering the German-Turkish alliance in those years. By recognizing the Armenian Genocide, the German Parliament, just as the Austrian Parliament did last year, could pave the way for Turkey to come to terms with its past and move forward,” said Karampetian.
“Turkey is becoming more and more isolated in its politics of denialism. We congratulate the political groups CDU/CSU, SPD, and the Greens on the adoption of the resolution, in particular Cem Özdemir—the co-leader of the German Green Party, who played a crucial role, amidst all the pressure. It is a strong message, that all of the speakers emphasized the fact of the genocide, the German complicity in it, and the need for Turkey to recognize it.”