BERLIN — A telephone conversation recorded by German police has revealed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have personally ordered protests against an Armenian genocide bill in Germany via one of his parliamentarians, German news magazine Der Spiegel said .
The phone call reveals how Erdogan calls ruling Justice and Development Party’s lawmaker Metin Kulunk on June 1 (day before the adoption of the Bundestag resolution), who was in Berlin at that time and was engaged in organization of protests.
Der Spiegel published the transcript of one of the phone calls recorded by the Police of the German state of Hesse which allows to suppose that Erdogan was personally heading the protests.
The Hesse Police record how Erdogan calls Kulunk on June 1, 2016 at 23:30. “How are you Mr. President?”, Kulunk asked, and then reported about the protests against the resolution that was being debated in Berlin. “I wait for your orders”, the MP said. In response Erdogan said he will contact Kulunk later and wished him good night.
Der Spiegel writes that at the moment investigation is underway to find out Kulunk’s links with Turkey’s secret services after the reports in 2017 according to which the MP provided funds to the Osmanen Germania Turkish-German nationalist group. According to the reports, the funds were used for purchasing ammunition against the Kurdish groups.
The German Bundestag adopted the Armenian Genocide recognition resolution on June 2, 2016 which is entitled “Remembrance and commemoration of the genocide of Armenians and other Christian minorities in 1915 and 1916”. Only one MP voted against the adoption, and one abstained. Speakers were unanimously stressing the need of facing the past, also for contributing the reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey.
Around 1,000 Turks joined protests outside Germany’s Bundestag against the bill.