Thursday, June 02, 2016

German MPs Near-Unanimously Approve Armenian Genocide Resolution

German MPs Near-Unanimously Approve Armenian Genocide Resolution

by Stephen Lendman

On June 2, German parliamentarians officially acknowledged the Ottoman era 1915 - 1922 Armenian genocide, massacring around 1.5 million victims - recognized by 29 nations, including 44 US states, not Washington.

They passed a resolution with one dissenting vote and one abstention, titled “Remembrance and Commemoration of the Genocide of Armenians and other Christian minorities in the years 1915 and 1916.” It continued until 1922.

Tough resolution language said “(t)he fate of the Armenians is exemplary in the history of mass exterminations, ethnic cleansing, deportations and yes, genocide, which marked the 20th century in such a terrible way.”

As an Ottoman ally during WW I, it acknowledged “partial” German responsibility for what happened.

Turkey refutes an indisputable historic fact. An earlier article explained over 2.5 million Armenians lived in Ottoman Turkey in 2014. 

Today, 75,000 at most remain, mostly in Istanbul and Western areas. The Eastern Armenian heartland was decimated.

In April 1915, hundreds of Armenian religious, political and intellectual leaders were arrested, detained or exiled. Most were systematically murdered.

By summer, about 250,000 Ottoman army Armenians were placed in forced labor battalions. They were over-worked, starved, or executed. 

Without leaders or able-bodied youths, ethnic cleansing occurred throughout Ottoman Turkey and Asia Minor. 

Death marches followed. Men and older boys were separated and executed, women and children force-marched, raped, tortured, and otherwise abused. Most deportees died of starvation, disease, or massacres. 

About 500,000 escaped to Russia, Arab countries, Europe or America. Ottoman Armenia was virtually eliminated. 

Turkey’s denial of cold, hard facts can’t refute one of history’s great crimes - slow-motion genocide against its Kurdish population ongoing under Erdogan.

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, he warned against passage, saying it would “naturally damage (bilateral) future diplomatic, economic, business and military relations…”

Following passage, prime minister Bilali Yildirim said it will test friendship between both nations, accusing Germany of “divert(ing) attention (from) trouble in domestic policy…”

After France and Austria passed similar resolutions earlier (in 2011 and 2015 respectively), Ankara temporarily recalled its ambassadors - again Tuesday from Berlin, vowing retaliatory measures.

It threatened Washington with closure of NATO bases on its territory if Congress recognizes the Armenian genocide.

Heavy-handed pressure on Germany backfired. MPs refused to be bullied the way Erdogan treats his own parliamentarians.

Die Linke (The Left) party MP Gregor Gysi likely spoke for many others, saying “(t)he Bunderstag should not allow itself to be blackmailed by Turkish threats.”

The vote was originally scheduled a year ago to mark the 100th anniversary of what happened. 

Merkel got it postponed. She was absent during June 2 parliamentary voting, claiming prior commitments, wanting to avoid the embarrassment of MPs overwhelmingly going against her.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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