Erdogan warns Germany genocide vote could harm ties

31st May 2016, Comments 0 comments

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned Germany against the adoption of a parliamentary resolution recognising the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as "genocide", saying it would harm the countries' relationship.

"If (Germany) falls into such a game, that would harm our future ties -- the diplomatic, economic, political, commercial and military ties between the two countries," Erdogan told reporters in the western province of Izmir ahead of an African tour.

"I believe all of these would be reconsidered."

The German lower house of parliament is set to vote on Thursday on the resolution over the slaughter, with the text carrying the contentious word "genocide" to the dismay of Ankara.

Erdogan said he had spoken on the phone earlier with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to raise concerns over the wording of the resolution.

He hailed the two countries' ties as being "at the highest level" but said Turkey would consider reciprocal steps after the vote on Thursday.

"We will do the necessary evaluation after the vote," Erdogan said.

But he added: "I want you to know that it (the German resolution) is not binding under international law."

Turkish authorities have long lobbied Western allies not to recognise the killings as genocide and stepped up efforts last year on the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million were killed between 1915 and 1917 in a targeted campaign of genocide by top Ottoman officials to wipe out their people from Anatolia.

Modern Turkey insists comparable numbers of Armenians and Turks died in a collective tragedy when Armenians sided with invading Russian troops in World War I.

© 2016 AFP

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