Turkish-French spat over decision to mark Armenian genocide

Cavusoglu said France should "look at its own dark history (...) We haven't forgotten what happened in Rwanda and Algeria."
Friday 12/04/2019
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gestures during a press conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP)
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gestures during a press conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP)

Turkey's foreign minister has criticised a French decision to mark April 24 as a day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide, saying France should "look at its own dark history."

Mevlut Cavusoglu made the comments Friday during a tense exchange of words with a French parliamentarian at a NATO meeting in Turkey, a day after French President Emmanuel Macron's decision was inscribed in France's official journal.

Many historians regard the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire a century ago the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey rejects the term genocide, contending that those who died were victims of civil war.

Cavusoglu said: "France is the last country to teach Turkey a lesson on genocide and history. We haven't forgotten what happened in Rwanda and Algeria."