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Berlin cancels Armenia genocide performance at Istanbul consulate

The Dresden Symphony Orchestra had been scheduled to perform "Aghet." The piece was written by a composer whose great-grandparents were killed in the Armenian genocide, and commemorates the massacre.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that they had called off a controversial performance at the country’s consulate in Istanbul. The Dresden Symphony Orchestra had been scheduled to perform "Aghet," a piece by Marc Sinan about the Armenian genocide.

The piece had been set for November 13, and was to mark the 100th anniversary of the deportations and massacres that saw 1.5 million ethnic Armenians killed at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. The move had further increased tensions between Berlin and Ankara, which had already been brought to the brink by a controversial vote in Germany’s parliament agreeing to recognize the deaths as a genocide.

The orchestra invited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu to the performance. Turkey has pushed back against the plan to stage the piece, financed both by Germany and the European Union, since it was announced months ago.

Berlin later added that the performance had been postponed, but did not name a new date for the event.

es/rc (dpa, ARD)

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