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German MPs vote on Armenian ‘genocide’ (BBC)

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The German parliament is set to approve a resolution declaring that the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War One was a «genocide».

Turkey is bitterly opposed to the Bundestag (lower house) resolution, and has warned that it could hurt ties.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their people died in the atrocities of 1915. Turkey says the toll was much lower and rejects the term «genocide».

The timing is awkward, as the EU needs Turkey to help stem the migrant influx.

More than 20 nations, including France and Russia, as well as Pope Francis, have recognised the 1915 killings as genocide.

Turkey denies that there was a systematic campaign to slaughter Armenians as an ethnic group during WW1. It also points out that many Turkish civilians died in the turmoil during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will not be in the Bundestag for the vote. Her Christian Democrats (CDU), their coalition partners the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens all support the resolution.


  • Hundreds of thousands of Armenians died in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, whose empire was disintegrating
  • Many of the victims were civilians deported to barren desert regions where they died of starvation and thirst. Thousands also died in massacres
  • Armenia says up to 1.5 million people were killed. Turkey says the number of deaths was much smaller
  • Most non-Turkish scholars of the events regard them as genocide – as do more than 20 states including France, Germany and Russia, and some international bodies such as the European Parliament
  • Turkey rejects the term «genocide», maintaining that many of the dead were killed in clashes during World War One, and that many ethnic Turks also suffered in the conflict

More on this story

  • Q&A: Armenian genocide dispute
    13 April 2015
  • German court rules against comic Boehmermann over Erdogan poem
    17 May 2016
  • Germany struggles with Armenia genocide debate
    23 April 2015
  • Turkey anger at Pope Francis Armenian ‘genocide’ claim
    12 April 2015


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