On Thursday, the German parliament adopted a bill recognizing the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman authorities in 1915 as genocide. The Turkish Foreign Ministry called the move shameful.
"I know in my heart that the main point is not Armenians. They are just being manipulated. The Armenian issue is just blackmail against Turkey around the world," Erdogan told a press conference in Istanbul.
"I emphasize one more time. We have nothing in our past to be ashamed of, but those countries that often accuse Turkey of 'Armenian genocide' have the blood of millions of innocent victims," he added.
Up to 1.2 million Armenians were slaughtered or starved to death by the Ottomans during and after World War I, according to various estimations. The empire’s policy of ethnic violence has been recognized by many European countries and Russia as genocide. Ankara maintains that Turkish nationals were also victimized.