Turkey strongly condemned the French President, who was seen to be using the commemoration day for his own ends.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said: “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”
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.
Speaking to the Armenian community at a dinner in Paris last night, Macron said: “France is, first and foremost, the country that knows how to look history in the face, which was among the first to denounce the killing of the Armenian people, which in 1915 named genocide for what it was, which in 2001 after a long struggle recognised it in law.”
France “will in the next weeks make April 24 a national day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide,” he added.
For decades, Armenia and Turkey have been at odds over whether the World War I massacres and deportations of Armenians by their Ottoman rulers should be described as genocide.
Turkey vehemently rejects that the massacres, imprisonment and forced deportation of Armenians from 1915 — which Armenia says left 1.5 million dead — constituted a genocide.
Macron’s remarks at the dinner, organised by the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organisations of France, honoured a campaign promise from his election in 2017.