Turkey has criticized plans by Germany's parliament to recognize the World War I killings of Armenians as genocide.

The killings of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks are widely viewed by historians as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, insists that the toll was inflated and says those killed were the victims of civil war and unrest.

Germany's parliament is to hold a vote on a motion describing the deaths as genocide this week.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Monday that Germany — home to a large Turkish community — should "act with caution."

He said parliaments should not decide on history and that all countries should make documents available to historians so they can shed light on the killings.