YEREVAN, Armenia – Armenians are making their annual commemoration of the massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks, unsatisfied by an unprecedented conciliatory message by Turkey's premier.
The killings in 1915 are regarded by many historians as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey rejects the term "genocide," says the death figure is inflated and that people died on both sides as the Ottoman Empire collapsed amid World War I.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called the events "our shared pain" and acknowledged that the deportation of Armenians had "inhumane consequences."
But amid commemoration ceremonies in the Armenian capital on Thursday, presidential chief of staff Vigen Sargsian said Erdogan's message consisted of "the known theses of Turkish propaganda, putting victims and executioners on the same plane."