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Turkey Invites Armenian Leader To Gallipoli Commemoration

Turkey has reportedly invited Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian to ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the World War I Gallipoli campaign.

The newspaper Hurriyet says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent invitation letters to more than 100 leaders, including Sarkisian, to participate in the April 23-24 events.

In the 1915-1916 Gallipoli campaign, Ottoman troops repelled Allied forces seeking control of the peninsula on the Dardanelles strait.

"We fought as a kind together. That's why we have invited Sarkisian," a government official told Hurriyet.

But April 24 is the day Armenia will mark the 100th anniversary of the mass slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks, still a source of severe tension between the neighboring nations.

Armenians wants the killings to be recognized as genocide, something Turkey rejects.

Hurriyet says the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand, as well as Britain's Prince Charles, are expected to take part in the Gallipoli ceremonies.

Based on reporting by AFP