Turkey warns of 'repercussions' if Germany recognises Armenian Genocide

Turkey warns of 'repercussions' if Germany recognises Armenian Genocide
Germany is set to vote on whether to recognise the Ottoman empire's mass killings of Armenians during the First World War as a 'genocide', sparking alarm in Ankara.
2 min read
The debate over the mass killings of Armenians is a highly contentious issue [Getty]

Turkey has warned Germany against recognising the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman troops during the First World War as genocide.

Ankara issued a strongly worded statement, saying the German parliament's adoption of the proposed law could "have repercussions" for bilateral ties.

The vote in Germany's lower house is set to take place on Thursday, and the resolution about the two years of slaughter from 1915 carries the controversial word "genocide" throughout the text.

"Germany is our friend and our ally where many citizens of Turkish origin live," said Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus. "Germany must be careful concerning its relations with Turkey."

"I do not think that the German parliament will destroy this relationship for the sake of two or three politicians" who put the resolution before the Bundestag, he added.

Read more: Turkey marks Gallipoli anniversary on Armenian genocide remembrance day

The debate over the resolution also comes at a hugely sensitive time in Berlin-Ankara relations.

Turkish authorities are angry over the failure to grant citizens visa-free travel to the EU, and Germany is concerned with Turkey's worsening human rights record.

Turkish authorities have long lobbied Western allies not to recognise the killings as genocide, which is becoming particularly poignant after last year marked 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 a collective tragedy when Armenians sided with invading Russian troops in the First World War.