German TV Program Pulled, Turkey Trip Rejected Amid Tensions

kanal ddA Turkish television station has pulled a German broadcaster’s program, citing complaints over the German Parliament’s vote to label the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago genocide, the ZDF broadcaster said Wednesday.

Separately, the German Defense Ministry said a delegation including a deputy defense minister had been refused permission to visit German troops at a base in Turkey — though no official explanation was given for the decision.

ZDF said that Turkey’s Kanal D informed it that the broadcasts of the children’s news program had to be ended because of “numerous viewer complaints” about the June 2 vote by the German Parliament — a vote that infuriated the Turkish government.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event viewed by many scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century.

Turkey disputes the description. It says the toll has been inflated and considers those killed victims of a civil war.

ZDF’s German-language “logo!” program has been broadcast via the pan-European network of Kanal D, part of Turkey’s Dogan media company, for nearly a decade. ZDF aimed to reach the children of families of Turkish origin in Germany, many of whom watch primarily Turkish channels.

The German broadcaster said it regrets Kanal D’s decision.

Defense Ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff said authorities in Ankara had refused a routine trip by a German deputy defense minister and a handful of German lawmakers who had wanted to visit the troops on the Incirlik air base in July.

Germany has Tornado reconnaissance aircraft stationed at Incirlik flying missions in support of efforts against the Islamic State group.

Flosdorff said permission for the trip was refused without explanation. He refused to comment on German media reports it was in retaliation for the Parliament’s resolution on Armenia.

121 Comments