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Turkish President Criticizes French Counterpart Over Remembrance Of Armenian Killings

French President Emmanuel Macron (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels in 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed his criticism of his French counterpart, days after France held its first national commemoration of the World War I-era massacre of Armenians.

French leader Emmanuel Macron in February decided to formally mark the anniversary of the mass killings, and on April 24, the country held its first "national day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide.”

Erdogan has criticized the French remembrances in the past, saying Macron should examine alleged crimes by French troops in Africa and elsewhere.

On April 27, Erdogan sniped at Macron again, saying he was pandering to the country's sizable Armenian population.

"Delivering a message to 700,000 Armenians who live in France will not save you, Monsieur Macron," Erdogan told a gathering of his ruling party.

Around three dozen countries and a growing number of historians have concluded that the killings, which began in 1915, constituted genocide. As many as 1.5 million Armenians are believed to have died.

Ankara has long rejected the term genocide, saying the deaths occurred on both sides and were a result of the chaos of war.

Armenians commemorate the massacres annually on April 24.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters