Analysis: German bill on Armenian Genocide recognition seen as tool against Turkey

Photo: Photolure

Germany’s Bundestag plans to consider passing a resolution on the Armenian Genocide on June 2. Experts speak about the likelihood of such a resolution being adopted, but note that this would depend on global agreements between Germany and Turkey.

The German parliament failed to discuss a similar resolution in 2015, when Armenians marked the 100th anniversary of the Ottoman-era Genocide. The vote then was repeatedly delayed, and many experts now also believe that the Bundestag is using the resolution as a tool in negotiations with Turkey. In particular, it concerns the issue of immigrants to Europe. Turkey is accused of encouraging the flow of migrants towards the continent and Brussels is trying to arrange a deal for Turkey to keep migrants and refugees coming from troubled regions of the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Meanwhile, a German Bundestag delegation headed by Vice-Speaker Edelgard Bulmahn has been in Yerevan this week. At a press conference, the German politician said that the text of the resolution condemns the violence and deportation against the Armenians and other peoples of the Ottoman Empire, but also notes a sinister German role in the crime. Germany was Turkey’s ally during World War I and, according to historical evidence, did nothing to prevent the crime.

During these days German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Turkey where she is attending the United Nation’s World Humanitarian Summit. During talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Merkel expressed dissatisfaction with the law adopted by the Turkish parliament on the eve of her arrival under which lawmakers in Turkey will not enjoy parliamentary immunity. The international community regards this as an act against the Kurdish deputies in the Turkish parliament, who are now effectively left defenseless before the authorities.

Germany is home to quite a large Turkish community, but a large part of immigrants are also ethnic Kurds and other ethnic groups opposed to Turkish dominance. Germany supports the Kurdish movement, including as a tool of pressure on Turkey, whose authorities are now conducting military operations against the Kurds. In this context, the assertion that the Armenian issue is also a similar tool does not seem unfounded.

It is noteworthy that the author of the Armenian Genocide bill is German MP Cem Ozdemir, the son of a Turkish-Circassian gastarbeiter from Turkey.