BERLIN—German Chancellor Angela Merkel scolded Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over Turkey’s continued denial of the Armenian Genocide and urged the Turkish leader to “face its history,” reported the Turkish-language version of Hurriyet on Thursday.
Erdogan, who was on an official visit to Germany, warned Merkel and her ruling Christian Democratic Union party to be more cautious in addressing the upcoming centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
“We are aware that in the coming year there are budgetary allocations in your country for the 100th anniversary of 1915 event,” Erdogan reportedly told Merkel.
“I recommend that you address this issue more carefully and caution your party about any allocations,” added Erdogan.
In response, Merkel reportedly told the Turkish leader that Germany is a democratic country and that her government cannot intervene in decisions.
“Turkey must come to terms with its history. We cannot compare the Armenians living in Armenia with the Armenians who were forcibly dispersed around the world,” said Merkel adding that those in Armenia are living under difficult circumstances and urged Erdogan to open the border.
“You are forcing us to accept something we have not done,” said Erdogan, denying the Armenian Genocide again and claiming that the entire Turkish archives are open to the world.
“Do not do injustice against Turkey,” Erdogan urged Merkel.
Prior to his visit to Germany, a member of the German parliament urged Erdogan to end the denial of the Armenian Genocide and apologize for the crime, reported the Bild newspaper.
Erika Stenbach, a member of Merkel’s party, said: “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,” 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.