Turkey slams France over decision to mark Armenian genocide

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey is strongly condemning French President Emmanuel Macron's decision to mark April 24 as a day of "commemoration of the Armenian genocide" in reference to the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire a century ago.

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Wednesday denounced Macron's move as an attempt to "save the day" and make political gains as he faces "political problems in his own country."

Many historians regard the mass killings of Armenians as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey rejects the term genocide, contending that those who died were victims of civil war and unrest.

Macron was speaking at a dinner gathering members of the French-Armenian community in Paris on Tuesday evening. 

France officially recognized the Armenian genocide in 2001. 

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