French candidates draw rebuke from Turkey

April 25, 2012 at 9:01 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, April 25 (UPI) -- Turkey has accused French presidential candidates of pandering to the country's Armenian community by exploiting a World War I event.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry told Today's Zaman French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his rival Francois Hollande are using the 1915 killings of Armenians during a revolt against the Ottoman Empire for political advantage.

France formally recognized the killings as genocide in 2001, a scenario that Turkey has denied.

An estimated 500,000 Armenians live in France and many have tried to raise the legal status regarding the massacre to the same level as the Holocaust.

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