WORLD


France can't lecture us on genocide, history - Turkish FM

Ankara harshly condemns French and Italian involvement in the disputed 1915 events between Turkey and Armenia, describing them as "abuse of history and the law" and saying its European allies are taking decisions for political reasons, according to TRT World.

Turkey on Friday condemned separate decisions by France and Italy to officially recognise the events of 1915 involving Armenians within the Ottoman Empire as a genocide.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that France was the last country which could lecture Turkey on genocide and history.

"France should mind its own dark history in Rwanda and Algeria," Cavusoglu said at a NATO meeting in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday signed a decision that set April 24 as a day of annual commemoration. Macron had announced the decision in February, following through with a 2017 campaign promise.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said 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.

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

On Wednesday, Italy's lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, also approved a motion to officially recognise the events as genocide.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry condemned that step too, calling it an example of using Armenian claims for domestic political interests.

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

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