The Turkish justice minister lashed out at German government officials Friday by calling their attention to the Holocaust after the German parliament decided to formally recognize the Armenian genocide.
The Bundestag (the name for Germany’s Parliament) passed a resolution recognizing the 1915 Armenian genocide, when the Ottoman Empire — the precursor state to Turkey — murdered over 1 million Armenian Christians. Besides Germany, only 20 countries in the world currently recognize the genocide.
“First you burn the Jews in the oven, then you get up and accuse the people of Turkey of genocide,” Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said in response to the resolution, according to Turkish state news agency Anadolu. The Holocaust killed 6 million Jews during Adolf Hitler’s rule over Germany.
The Turkish foreign minister also stated his disapproval, writing on Twitter, “The way to close the dark pages of your own history is not by defaming the histories of other countries with irresponsible and baseless decisions.”
The Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim, added his take, saying, “There is no shameful incident in our past that would make us bow our heads.” Turkey’s Ambassador to Germany has been recalled to his homeland as the Turkish government figures out how to formally respond to the Bundestag’s decision.
The European Union worked out a deal with Turkey in March that would let EU countries send migrants to Turkey. In exchange, the Turks get visa-free entry to the EU and billions in aid money, according to Vox.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed its own resolution in 2010 calling for the U.S. to formally recognize the Armenian genocide, but the committee vote did not make its way to the House Floor for a formal vote.
The Obama administration was firmly against recognition of the genocide, and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explained the stance, saying, “The Obama administration strongly opposes the resolution that was passed by only one vote by the House committee and will work very hard to make sure it does not go to the House floor.”
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