Press Release regarding the draft resolution at the Bundestag
We condemn the draft resolution on the 1915 events, scheduled to be debated at the plenary session of the Bundestag tomorrow. This resolution conforms to neither historical facts nor international law.
The sponsors of the draft resolution that has been penned with prejudice, intolerance and arrogance towards Turkey, did not enterprise out of genuine interest for the truth behind 1915 events or sense of duty to contribute to the improvement of relations between Turkey and Armenia. The excuses and explanations like “Germany taking on its own special historical responsibility” or “promoting the reconciliation between Turks and Armenians” are far from being persuasive and moreover preposterous. These sponsors of that draft resolution drag the Bundestag along for their own petty agendas towards a historical and strategic mistake.
This issue is not a matter at the free discretion of parliaments but rather, as clearly and finally defined in the international law, a matter for an authorized court to take. It is imperative to remind the Bundestag legal findings that the European Court of Human Rights took in its decision on 15 October 2015 and which is part of the European jurisprudence since then. The 1915 is a legitimate historical matter in contention, thus to challenge the Armenian narrative is within the confines of freedom of expression which is protected by human rights. Ignoring the fundamental principles like rule of law, freedom of expression and freedom of thought, the Bundestag pretends to be a tribunal and does not eschew slandering Turks for this heinous crime. Such a move on the part of the Bundestag sorts ill with its own past as well as the friendship between two countries.
In spite of the recollections and convictions of millions of German citizens from Turkish descent, coming forward with such draft resolution; and blessing a one-sided narrative which intends to injure the very identity of this particular group as “salutary for their integration into the German society” and pursuing this with imposition reveals a sickly integration policy and a skewed understanding of what integration means. This draft resolution will not reinforce the German society, but will divide it. It will make German citizens from Turkish descent question their relation to Germany. It will shake their confidence to these institutions that are supposed to represent their opinions and interests as well. If not indifference then a will to assimilate and to alienate people with Turkish descentto their own history and identity lies behind such a heavy handed approach exhibited by the Bundestag.
All the sufferings of the inhabitants in the Anatolian peninsula from both sides surrounding the 1915 events in the circumstances of the First World War is not a taboo in Turkey but an issue open to discussion and different interpretations.
Against such prejudiced, arbitrary and unwarranted initiative, we can only urge for common sense to our counterparts at the Bundestag regarding an historical episode and its contemporary meaning on which there is no legal, academic and scientific consensus. This initiative is without any moral content for Turkey. Nonetheless this slander will not be forgotten by 79 million Turkish nationals or our compatriots abroad and it will be recalled as a low point in the German-Turkish bilateral relations.
Ahmet Berat ÇONKAR