Turkey slams French move to mark 1915 events

Turkey's ruling party spokesman slammed French President Emmanuel Macron amid a move to declare a national day to mark the so-called Armenian genocide.

In a series of tweets, Omer Celik of the Justice and Development (AK) Party called on Macron to reflect on the history of his own country, referring to French colonialism in Africa.

France, which claims to confront history, must first face the crimes it has committed against humanity in Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Guinea, Cameroon, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Tunisia, and Chad, Celik wrote.

Celik said that Macron's decision was lacking on legal and historical grounds and was based on groundless claims on events that took place in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey is never accepting [the decision] and strongly condemns it, he added.

Celik said that Macron's move was a step to please political lobbies, and was against the spirit of dialogue.

Macron, in a tweet early Wednesday, announced to mark April 24 as a day to commemorate the so-called Armenian genocide.

Turkey's position is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Ankara does not accept the alleged genocide, but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events of World War I.

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.

Turkey has also decried Western hypocrisy in alleging a genocide while ignoring their own dark history, including France's colonialist record in Algeria.

Source: Anadolu Agency