ANKARA (Hurriyet Daily News)—“Turkey will make a sound assessment before it imposes measures against Germany in reaction to a parliamentary recognition of the 1915 killings of Anatolian Armenians as genocide,” the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said, underlining that Turkey will not completely destroy its ties with an important ally.
“The necessary reaction will be given after an evaluation of the background of this decision. Turkey and Germany are two important allies. No one should expect a full worsening of our relationship with Germany because of this kind of a decision. But this does not mean that Turkey will remain indifferent and silent against such a move,” Yıldırım said.
Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Berlin for consultation in a first step of protest against the German parliament’s decision to label the mass killings of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Empire in 1915 as genocide.
Describing the vote as a historic mistake and reiterating that it was null and void in the eyes of Turkey and the Turkish people, Yıldırım said, “Turkish-German relations have been seriously hurt by this decision. But I want to draw attention to one point: The fact that only around 250 lawmakers out of 650 present at the voting indicates that the majority of the German parliament could not embrace this move.”
The Turkish prime minister vowed that Turkey will continue its relations with its allies and friends “no matter what happens,” expressing his hopes that common sense will prevail in Germany as well.
Yıldırım was tougher in his remarks against Armenia during the press conference, as he accused Turkey’s eastern neighbor of supporting terrorism while reminding that scores of Turkish diplomats were assassinated by Armenian terror groups in the past.
“Today, it’s not a secret that [Armenia] is embracing terror organizations in an indirect way. These are millions of Armenians who are paying the price of these unconscious moves of the Armenian leadership through isolation, poverty and difficulties. Armenia should now renounce these empty dreams and begin to work for the welfare of its people through good neighborly relationships in the region,” he stressed.