Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has urged German lawmakers to ignore Turkish warnings and pass a parliamentary resolution to recognize the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said passage of the symbolic resolution would harm bilateral ties.
"It's not fair that you cannot call the genocide of the Armenians genocide just because the head of state of another country is angry about it," Sarkisian told the German daily Bild in comments published on June 1.
German lawmakers are expected on June 2 to back the symbolic resolution on the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces a century ago. Turkey strongly rejects the notion that the killings constituted genocide.
Yildirim’s comments on June 1 echoed those made earlier in the week by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan told reporters on May 31 that adoption of the text would “harm” diplomatic, political, commercial, and military ties between Ankara and Berlin.
The slaughter and deportation of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks is considered by many historians and several nations a 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.