By Ani Paitjan
Turkey has strongly condemned French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to declare April 24 as a national day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide in France.
“Allegations of a so-called Armenian genocide are political lies lacking any legal basis, contrary to historical facts. They are null and void for Turkey,” Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said in a statement on February 6.
In France, April 24 will be officially recognized as a national day of commemoration for the Armenian genocide.
French President Emmanuel Macron had promised to take this step when he was campaigning for office. During the annual dinner of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF), Macron honored his promise to include a day of commemoration for the Armenian genocide in France’s calendar.
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“France is, first and foremost, a country that knows to face history,” Macron stated.
In 2001, France officially recognized the killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in 1915 as genocide.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Macron, cornered by political woes and months of protests, is trying to rescue himself by using historical events as political fodder.
The Turkish government has never recognized the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians in 1915. The Ottoman government systematically exterminated 1.5 million Armenians, mostly citizens of the empire. April 24 marks the day that Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested and deported Armenian intellectuals from Istanbul (then Constantinople). It is regarded by historians as the beginning of the genocide against Armenians.
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