The German Parliament has recognised the massacre 100 years ago of up to a million Armenians by the Turkish Ottoman Empire as “genocide”.
Early in the 4th Century, the Kingdom of Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as its state religion. At the time of the genocide, Germany was an ally of the Ottomans, so this is Germany acknowledging its own role as, in the words of one German politician, “an accessory”. Turkey has reacted angrily, calling this bill a “historic mistake”; it denies that there was a systematic campaign to slaughter Christian Armenians as an ethnic group. It maintains that the deaths came in the context of World War I.
Since 1915, Turks and Armenians have remained outspoken enemies. Their enmity, rooted in the Armenian genocide, is both political and ethnic, but also religious. Germany’s ruling CDU party’s Albert Weiler said his country has a “historical duty” to recognise the genocide, and that “without this admission there cannot be forgiveness and reconciliation”.
World Watch Monitor has reported how some Turkish Christians have already started that process: at the centenary commemorations in April 2015, they visited Armenia to apologise and seek forgiveness.