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Armenia, Turkey still at odds a century after 1915 massacre

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Image 0World leaders, including the presidents of Russia, France and Serbia, have gathered in the Armenian capital for the 100th anniversary of the massacres of up to 1.5 million people.

As Armenians mark 100 years since over a million of their countrymen and women were slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks, Yerevan and Ankara are still unable to find common ground on the sensitive issue and begin diplomatic relations.

Some 2 million Armenians were living in the Ottoman Empire at the start of the World War I in 1914, which increased turmoil in the Middle Eastern realm and led to its eventual demise.

In the next eight years, the size of the Armenian population in Turkey decreased to less than half a million.

It is called a genocide by about two dozen countries around the world, and on Thursday the German President used the word, the first time it has been used officially in Berlin.

Joachim Gauck also admitted that Germany bore some responsibility in the deaths as an ally of the Ottoman Empire.

Pope Francis also recently referred to the deaths as genocide.

Turkey angrily rejects use of the term, insisting there was no organised campaign to wipe out Armenians, saying there were high death tolls on both sides.

But the Armenian President today called on more countries to recognise the killings as genocide.

The presidents of Russia and France also addressed the dignitaries gathered. They both referred to the killings as genocide and spoke about the need to learn from the past and ensure similar tragedies are not repeated in the future.

April 24 2015, 15:59

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