The Turkish Foreign Ministry has angrily condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for using the word “genocide” to describe the massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.
In a statement, the ministry said on April 24: "Considering the mass killings, exiles...that Russia has carried out in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and in Eastern Europe during the past century, we think [Russia] should be the one that knows best what genocide is and what its legal dimensions are."
It was at a ceremony in Yerevan on April 24 that Putin used the word “genocide” to refer to the killings in the Ottoman Empire of up to 1.5 million Armenians beginning in 1915.
Putin said Russia believes such massacres cannot be excused under any circumstances because Moscow is party to several international legal initiatives, including a convention against genocide.
Parliament in Germany also risked a diplomatic rupture with Turkey by joining the many Western scholars and nearly two dozen countries -- including Russia and France -- that describe the Ottoman-era mass killings as genocide.