Germany warns 11 MPs to keep out of Turkey after Armenian genocide vote - report

© Osman Orsal
Eleven German MPs of Turkish descent, who voted for recognition of the Armenian genocide, have reportedly received a travel warning from the German Foreign Ministry. They were told not to visit Turkey – or face safety risks there.

German MPs of Turkish origin have been recommended not travel to Turkey in the nearest future as “their security could not be guaranteed,”Der Spiegel reported on Saturday, citing an internal communication from the Foreign Ministry. 

“It is unspeakable to know for the first time that it’s no longer possible to fly there,” Aydan Ozoguz, a Socialist Democratic Party MP told Der Spiegel. “Erdogan needs to realize that we are not an extension of Turkey,” she said.

Other German-Turkish MPs have already canceled business trips to Ankara and summer holidays on the Bosporus, according to the magazine. One lawmaker reportedly made sure that his parents leave their family house in Turkey, seeking shelter at a hotel in another city.

Cem Ozdemir, Green Party leader and one of the advocates of the resolution to recognize the genocide, has said: “Of course, I think of what happens if someone goes nuts and does street justice.”

Last week, 11 MPs of Turkish descent voted for a landmark resolution, sparking a barrage of accusations and threats from Turkey. Almost immediately after the vote, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the lawmakers’ blood must be tested in a lab for “Turkishness,” labeling them “the long arm of the separatist terrorists placed in Germany.”

The resolution, titled “Remembrance and commemoration of the genocide of Armenians and other Christian minorities in the years 1915 and 1916,” received overwhelming support from the CDU and Social Democrats, as well as the opposition Greens.

It includes the word “genocide” in its headline and text that reads “the 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.”

The mass killings in the Ottoman Empire began on April 24, 1915, leaving between 800,000 and 1.5 million ethnic Armenians dead. Most of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenians were then displaced, deported or thrown into concentration camps, ostensibly for rebelling against the Ottomans and siding with the Russians during World War I.

In Germany, some viewed the recognition of the Armenian genocide as a moral duty, given that both the German and Ottoman empires were in a military alliance. The Germans provided weaponry, ammunition and military advisers to the Ottomans in the hope that it would give them a safe passage to neighboring British colonies in the Middle East.

Modern Turkey, the successor of the Ottoman Empire, admits that many ethnic Armenians were either mistreated or oppressed at the time, but insists the scale of the tragedy has been exaggerated, and there are no grounds to call it “genocide.”