Armenian battle of the CDU member!

Armenian battle of the CDU member!

March 8, 2005
Milliyet / Mehmet Aktan

There was an argument between Bosbach, the Group Deputy Chairman of the Unionist parties entering an Armenian motion to the assembly in Germany, and Cüneyd Zapsu, Prime Minister Erdoğan’s consultant

Mehmet Aktan – Köln

There was an argument about Armenians between Cüneyd Zapsu, Prime Minister Erdoğan’s consultant, and Wolfgang Bosbach, the Group Deputy Chairman of the Unionist parties (CDU/CSU) entering an Armenian motion to the Federal Assembly in Germany, during a meeting with the topic of “How will negotiations go with Turkey?” held last evening in Köln by the Union of the European Turkish Democrats (UETD), which was founded by the Turks who are close with AKP in Germany. Bosbach acted angrily, while Zapsu acted calmly. Baha Güngör, who was moderating the session, changed the subject to Turkish – EU relations and cleared the air when there were some interventions from nearly 300 guests

When he said privileged partnership

Bosbach, one of the speakers, recommended Turkey the ‘privileged partnership’ model instead of EU membership and argued that the EU which had geographical and economical borders could not bear the burden of the member Turkey. Rolf Mützenich, Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) congressman, addressed that Turkey had a lot of tasks, and about it resolving the issue with Cyprus and Greece. As for Prof. Erich Röper, he explained the invalidity of the theses about how Turkey was outside of the European geography. Cüneyd Zapsu pointed out that the ‘privileged partnership’ model was history after a date for negotiation was given, and that one needed to look ahead what with the negotiations to start on October 3. Zapsu, stating that Turkey was brought some issues before it such as Cyprus, the Armenian question, Kurds and Alevis said, “These things will be discussed, but why are they brought to the table just when we started covering some ground?”.

The meeting which was attended by Cüneyd Zapsu, Rolf Mützenich from SDP, the announcer Baha Güngör, Wolfgang Bosbach from CDU and Prof. Erich Röper (from left to right) started out calmly. And when Bosbach increased the tension, Güngör was the one to ease it down.

The insistence on “genocide”

So, there was an unexpected reaction from Bosbach and the argument between him and Zapsu was as follows in summary:

W.B.: You say that everything is being brought to the table, the Armenian genocide, etc.…

C.Z.: I did not say genocide, I just said he Armenian question.

W.B.: What do you refer to when you say the Armenian question?

C.Z.: I refer to the motion that you entered to the Federal Assembly and that is about Turkey remembering the events of that time with Germany.

W.B.: So, you are talking about the genocide issue?

C.Z.: Why do you want me to especially use that word?

W.B.: You said that everything was being brought to the table, what is brought to the table and what happens next? If Germany were to deny the Holocaust, would it have become a member of the commonwealth and the EU today? The Berlin Consul General of Turkey speaks with the Brandenburg Governor and wants the topic of the ‘Armenian genocide’ to be taken out of the curriculum in that state, and it gets taken out. People ask, ‘We claim responsibility for the darkest page of our own history, why won’t the Turks do that?’. I am aware of the restrictions in Turkey about this issue. If you want to get into Europe, you must abandon this attitude of yours.

Zapsu was quite calm during the argument. A little while after the argument, a Turkish woman from the front seat made a comment while Wolfgang Bosbach was speaking. And when there were other voices in the hall, Baha Güngör who was moderating the meeting stopped the statements and questions about this subject and moved on to the topic of the EU, preventing an unpleasant incident.


Wolfgang Bosbach, who entered the Armenian motion to the Federal Assembly, bombarded Cüneyt Zapsu with questions regarding the Armenian subject and insisted on the word ‘genocide’.