Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara is planning retaliatory measures in case Germany does not overturn a parliamentary resolution declaring the 1915 killing of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire as “genocide.”
“First and foremost, Germany must reverse course from this wrong step in the coming period. If Germany does not go back from this wrong step, of course, we will assess this situation and our subsequent steps will differ,” Erdogan told a news conference in Ankara on Wednesday.
He added, “The process after this will not be like it has been in the past. There is a process right now in Germany, where there are 3 to 3.5 million Turks. After this, this process will continue in a much more careful, much more controlled fashion.”
Turkish authorities including the foreign ministry are now “preparing an action plan” against the decision by the German parliament, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Turkish-language state-run TRT Haber news television network on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey would take measures against the German resolution, without specifying the steps.
“The German government has to say its official stance does not overlap with the German parliament resolution,” he pointed out.
On June 4, Erdogan said charges that the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against the Armenians were being used to “blackmail” Turkey.
“I am addressing the whole world. You may like it, you may not. Our attitude on the Armenian issue is clear from the beginning. We will never accept the accusations of genocide,” he added.
The Turkish president further pointed to the Holocaust, noting that Germany should be “the last country” to make such accusations.
“The countries that are blackmailing us with these Armenian genocide resolutions have the blood of millions of innocents on their hands,” Erdogan stated.
The Bundestag voted on June 2 to recognize the 1915-1916 killings by the Ottoman Empire of the Armenians as genocide.
Armenians claim that up to 1.5 million Armenian Christians were systematically slaughtered in eastern Turkey through mass killing, forced relocation and starvation, a process that began in 1915 and took place over several years during World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.
Ankara rejects the term “genocide” and says 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians, and at least as many Turks perished between 1915 and 1917, in what the Turkish government sees as the “casualties” of World War I.