BERLIN—A member of the German parliament, known as the Bundestag, urged Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to end the denial of the Armenian Genocide and apologize for the crime, reported the Bild newspaper.
Erika Stenbach, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union Party made the statement ahead of Erdogan’s scheduled visit to Turkey on Monday.
“I urge Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to stop denying the genocide of Armenians and Assyrians by the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire 99 years ago,” Steinbach said, adding that it is high time for Turkey to apologize to the descendants of the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century.
“It is Erdogan’s duty to face the truth nearly 100 years after that terrible crime and ensure that the Turkish textbooks do not distort this part of Turkish history,” said Steinbach.
Erdogan traveled to Berlin Monday with the aim of boosting relations between Germany and Turkey and obtain Berlin’s support to reinvigorate Turkey’s EU membership process, reported Hurriyet Daily News.
Erdogan will meet with the German leadership, including Merkel, Vice Chancellor and Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier tomorrow.
The Turkish prime minister is also scheduled to deliver a speech at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and gather with the local Turkish community at a meeting to be hosted by the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD).
Merkel has long said Turkey should only be granted “privileged partnership” instead of full EU membership, but she expressed support for reviving Turkey’s stalled membership talks during her last visit to the country.
“We want the process to advance despite the fact that I am still skeptical about Turkey’s full membership in the EU,” Merkel said during her visit to Turkey in March 2013.