German gov’t refuses to label 1915 as genocide

Victims of the “Great Slaughter” in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, shown in a photo from 1919. Violence against Armenian centers in eastern regions of the dying Ottoman Empire spiked over the summer of 1915, beginning what historians consider to be the first genocide of the 20th century. Source.

The government of Germany has declared that it is against labeling the 1915 events as the Armenian genocide and is not planning any commemoration for the anniversary.

According to Armenia, up to 1.5 million Ottoman Armenians were killed starting from 1915. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll during the mass deportation of Ottoman Armenians has been inflated and that those killed in 1915 and 1916 were victims of general unrest during the World War I.

Upon a parliamentary question from Die Linke, which is the main opposition party in Germany, the German Foreign Ministry clarified its position regarding the 1915 events with a written statement. According to the four-point response, the question whether the events constituted genocide should be answered by historians and the issue should be solved between Turkey and Armenia.

The statement also stressed that the United Nations’ 1948 convention, which defines genocide, does not apply retroactively.

“We are informed about the initiatives planned by Armenian communities for the 100th anniversary of the 1915/1916 events. The German government currently has no action plan for commemorations at the moment,” the statement added…

With millions of Muslims in Germany (most of Turkish extraction) this looks blatantly political.  The link given for the source of photo is an article (in English) from Der Spiegel (2010).  It is a worth a read.