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German Lawmakers Under Police Protection In Genocide Row

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized German lawmakers of Turkish origin who voted in favor of recognizing the World War I massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide. (file photo)

Reports from Germany say 11 lawmakers of Turkish origin have been placed under police protection after receiving death threats following a vote on the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago.

The politicians were among the overwhelming majority who voted in the Bundestag on June 2 to recognize the killings as genocide.

The decision was made to extend their police escort after a meeting with Berlin and federal police, the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper reported on June 12.

The World War I-era mass slaughter and deportation of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks is considered by many historians and several nations as genocide.

Turkey objects, saying that Armenians died in much smaller numbers and because of civil strife rather than a planned Ottoman government effort to annihilate the Christian minority.

The German parliament's move has outraged the Turkish government, which has recalled its ambassador from Berlin.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that the lawmakers of Turkish origin who voted for the resolution undergo "blood tests" to see "what kind of Turks they are."

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa