German Parliament Speaker Blasts Erdogan Over Armenia Vote Spat

  • Erdogan questioned Turkish blood ties after genocide vote
  • Merkel applauds Lammert’s comments made in Bundestag speech

Germany’s parliamentary speaker blasted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for fomenting verbal attacks on German lawmakers who approved a resolution last week recognizing the century-old Ottoman killings of Armenians as genocide.

Norbert Lammert, the president of Germany’s lower house of parliament and member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said the body will use “all possibilities available to us by law” to respond to attacks on lawmakers, which included statements from Erdogan last weekend. 

“I wouldn’t have thought it possible that a democratically elected president in the 21st century would tie his criticism of democratically elected representatives of the German Bundestag to doubts about their Turkish origins and call their blood ‘tainted,”’ Lammert told lawmakers Thursday. Merkel joined fellow parliamentarians in applauding his remarks.

Erdogan on Sunday referred to the Turkish origin of one of the authors of the German resolution, saying that “people’s blood should be tested in a laboratory,” according to state-run news agency Anadolu. Turkish officials also escalated words of protest after the Bundestag passed the genocide resolution last Thursday.

Merkel on Tuesday called accusations from Turkey “not comprehensible” as the German Foreign Ministry invited the Turkish charge d’affaires in Berlin for a discussion of recent events that focused on the two countries’ traditionally close relations.

“If Germany does not reverse this wrong step, then our evaluation of the situation and counter-steps will be different,” Erdogan said in Ankara on Wednesday. Relations between Turkey and Germany, where as many as 3.5 million Turkish citizens live, “won’t be the same,” he said, adding that Turkey will act with caution in its relations with Germany.

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