Genocide term prompts Turkish snub

Turkey has recalled its ambassadors to France and Canada for consultations in a row over Armenian deaths during the first world war.

    Both France and Canada acknowledge the mass killings of Armenians was a genocide.

    The temporary recall of the diplomats was Turkey's latest move against increasing international pressure on the country to recognise the killings as genocide. 

    Turks say the death count is inflated and insist that Armenians were killed or displaced as the Ottoman Empire tried to secure its border with Russia and stop attacks by Armenian militants.

    Turkey recently criticised Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, for remarks he made in support of recognising the mass killings as genocide, and said that such statements threatened Turkish-Canadian relations.

     

    Turkey has also warned French politicians not to approve a draft law which would make the denial of the genocide a crime.

     

    France's parliament is set to consider next week a one-article bill, which would make it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide of 1915. It is already an offence in France to deny the Holocaust of the second world war.

     

    Armenians say 1.5 million of their people were killed as the Ottoman Empire forced them from eastern Turkey between 1915 and 1923 - and that this was a deliberate campaign of genocide by Turkey's rulers at that time.

    SOURCE: AFP


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