Turkey, Europe

German motion lacks 'common sense': Turkish EU minister

Turkey's EU Minister Celik says the German parliament's motion overshadows cooperation between EU and Germany with Turkey on global issues

Servet Günerigök   | 03.06.2016
German motion lacks 'common sense': Turkish EU minister

Ankara

ISTANBUL

The German parliament's resolution on 1915 events lacks common sense and overshadows EU's cooperation with Turkey over the ongoing refugee crisis, Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Omer Celik told Anadolu Agency in an interview Friday.

"While there is an intensified dialogue between Turkey and the EU and Germany, which began with migration and refugee crises that shook Europe and the region, and at a time when a more intensified cooperation is needed, such a decision by the German parliament is an approach that overshadows this cooperation," Celik said.

He said those who passed the symbolic non-binding resolution claimed they wanted to give Turkey a message to improve its ties with Armenia, but he said such people were in fact misinformed.

Celik recalled how Turkey's previous attempts to improve ties with Armenia had been hindered. "There were protocols signed between Turkey and Armenia. Mutual confidence-boosting steps were set to be taken. Implementation of these protocols was not prevented by Turkey," he said.

He said it was Armenia and its constitutional court which found such protocols contrary. "Therefore, if a message needs to be given for normalization of relations or enhancement of dialogue, this message must be given to the Armenian side, not Turkey," the minister added.

About ties with Germany post-resolution, Celik said the motion would cause damage to bilateral ties.

On Thursday, the German parliament passed a non-binding resolution accusing the Ottoman government of conducting a “systematic genocide” against Armenians and other minorities in 1915.

Turkey denies the alleged genocide, but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events taking place during World War I.

According to Turkey's viewpoint, deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Turkey describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.

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