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Germany has now reversed its stance to use the term “genocide” to describe the 1915 Armenian massacre when around 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered by Ottoman Turkish forces. The major reversal is crucial due to the fact that Germany is Turkey’s top European Union trading partner. Germany comes after France, Pope Francis, and the European parliament to condemn the violence.
Germany has resisted using the term of genocide even though other European nations have. Though, the government has come under scrutiny from officials to use the word in a resolution. Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, stated Germany would support a parliamentary resolution, declaring the 1915 Armenian massacre an example of genocide.
Turkey’s government currently denies that the slaughters constituted genocide. Officials stated there was no organized nation campaign to kill off Armenians and no such other orders from the Ottoman Empire. The word Genocide has not been used by any other nations to avoid upsetting Turkey and trading negotiations.
Originally, the German government refused to use the term due to some concerns of the Herero massacres done in 1904 and 1905 by German forces. This lead to reparation demands in what is now Namibia.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Luke Ma – Flickr License