World leaders are attending ceremonies commemorating the massacre 100 years ago of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks.

The event around the time of the World War I is widely viewed by historians as genocide. Modern Turkey, the successor to the Ottoman Empire, vehemently rejects the charge.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande and other world leaders and dignitaries assembled Friday morning at the Tsitsernakaberd memorial complex in the capital, Yerevan.

Each leader walked along the memorial with a single yellow rose and put it into the center of a wreath resembling a forget-me-not, a flower that was made the symbol of the commemoration.