President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took a swipe at Cem Özdemir, the Turkish-German Co-Chairman of Germany’s Green Party, and other Turkish lawmakers who backed the recent parliamentary resolution that declared 1915 Armenian killings “genocide,” without referring to their names, calling them “so-called Turks.”
On Friday, the German parliament passed a symbolic resolution that labels the killings of Armenians during 1915 and 1916 a “genocide” by Ottoman forces. Later in the same day, Turkey called back Turkish Ambassador to Berlin.
Addressing the Turkish-German lawmakers who supported the resolution in a speech on Sunday, Erdoğan said “One smarty comes up, drafts something and presents it to the German parliament. They say [some of them] are Turks. So-called Turks. What Turk? They need to take a blood test in laboratory.”
Calling the resolution “something made up,” Erdoğan said “Hey Germany, you should first answer for the Holocaust. You will also answer for killing nearly 100,000 people in Namibia. You are the last country to declare an ‘Armenian genocide’ in parliament by accusing Turkey. Also, we don’t have an issue with our history in that regard. Our history is not a history of massacres. This is the difference between them and us.” The president also targeted France, referring to the Rwanda genocide.
Erdoğan stated that there are currently over a million documents regarding the 1915 events in the Turkish archives, which were studied. The president once again challenged foreign countries claiming a “genocide,” saying that they could send their lawyers, historians and archeologists to examine the Turkish archives to enlighten the Armenian killings.
With regards to the Armenian population based in Turkey, Erdoğan said that currently 100,000 Armenians live in the country, half of which are Turkish citizens, and the other half took refuge in Turkey. “If we were anti-Armenian, we would have sent those who came here back to Armenia. They brazenly claim in Germany that we destroyed or seized their churches. On the contrary, we have been returning [churches and other properties] to them,” Erdoğan said.