Turkey raps French plan to mark Armenian ‘genocide’ day
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Turkey raps French plan to mark Armenian ‘genocide’ day

“We condemn and reject attempts by Mr. Macron, who is facing political problems in his own country, to save the day by turning historic[al] events into political material,” President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in a statement on Wednesday. “Allegations of the so-called Armenian genocide are a political lie lacking any legal basis and contrary to historical facts,” Kalin said, adding that the accusations are “null and void for Turkey.” Macron said April 24 would in the next weeks be declared a “national day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide.” He said he had already informed Erdogan of his decision. Armenia says 1.5 million people were massacred, imprisoned, or faced forced deportation by the Ottoman Empire during WWI. Ankara denies that “genocide” took place at the time, arguing that 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks were killed in a civil strife when Armenians rose up against their Ottoman rulers back then. It has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from the two sides as well as international experts to tackle the issue. The issue has also been a source of friction between Turkey and European Union member states. France became the first major member state to call the killings a “genocide” in January 2001. Currently more than 20 countries, including Germany, Russia, Canada, Italy, and Russia recognize the killings as “genocide.”

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