Turkey said on Wednesday February 6th it strongly condemned French President Emmanuel Macron's decision to declare April 24th as a day for the commemoration of the Armenian genocide, an issue that has caused regular friction between Turkey and European Union nations, according to Reuters.
"We condemn and reject attempts by Mr Macron, who is facing political problems in his own country, to save the day by turning historic events into political material," Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in a statement.
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 the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute a genocide.
"France is, first and foremost, the country that knows how to look history in the face," Macron said during a speech to the Armenian community at a dinner in Paris, on Tuesday February 5th.
Turkey and Armenia have long been at odds over the treatment of Armenians during the first world war.
Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their people were killed during the war. But Turkey -- the Ottoman Empire's successor state -- denies that the massacres, imprisonment and forced deportations of Armenians from 1915 amounted to a genocide.