When German parliamentarians passed a resolution on June 2 declaring the 1915 massacre of a million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as genocide, they reckoned with a stern response from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who denies the claim.
But the backlash appears to be more than they expected.
Mr. Erdogan has lashed out at the parliamentarians, especially those with Turkish roots, claiming “their blood is impure” and demanding blood tests. He has defamed them as mouthpieces of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK, calling them “the long arm of the separatist terrorists placed in Germany.”
His rage has brought death threats to several of the lawmakers, including German Green Party co-leader Cem Özdemir, one of the initiators of the resolution. And it has prompted a sharp response from Chancellor Angela Merkel.