Accessibility links

Breaking News

Turkey Condemns French, Italian Recognition Of Armenian Genocide

French President Emmanuel Macron, First Lady Brigitte Macron visit a monument in Yerevan commemorating the mass killings of Armenians in World War II. (file photo)

Turkey has strongly condemned separate moves by France and Italy to officially recognize the mass killings of Armenians at the beginning of the 20th century as genocide.

French President Emmanuel Macron on April 10 signed a decision which he announced first in February setting April 24 as a day of annual commemoration.

Macron's move marked the fulfillment of a 2017 presidential campaign promise.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in an April 11 statement that Macron had used this promise to win Armenian votes during elections.

"It is inevitable that France's attitude, which is far from amicable, will impact its relations with Turkey in a negative way," the statement said.

France, which is home to an estimated 500,000 ethnic Armenians, officially recognized the World War I-era mass slaughter and deportation of up to 1.5 million Armenians as genocide in 2001.

At least 22 other countries, including Germany, have taken a similar step.

Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during that period, but contests the figures and denies that the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute a genocide.

On April 10, Italy's lower house of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, also adopted a motion to officially recognize the killings as genocide.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry condemned Italy's move, too.

"It is not surprising that this motion was drafted by the Lega [Nord] Party, led by Matteo Salvini, who is committed to sabotaging relations between Turkey and Italy," the statement said.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP