Europe

Turkey concerned over Germany's stance on Armenian killings

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, right, and Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar arrive to observe EFES 2016, Turkey's largest military exercise with multifaceted operations, including air and amphibious assaults, in Seferihisar near Izmir, Turkey. Tuesday, May 31, 2016. (Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, right, and Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar arrive to observe EFES 2016, Turkey's largest military exercise with multifaceted operations, including air and amphibious assaults, in Seferihisar near Izmir, Turkey. Tuesday, May 31, 2016. (Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel waits for the arrival of the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel waits for the arrival of the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

Officials say Turkey's president has expressed concerns over plans in Germany's parliament to recognize the World War I killings of Armenians as genocide.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office says the concerns were relayed Tuesday during a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The killings of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks are widely viewed by historians as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey strongly 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 will hold a vote on a motion describing the deaths as genocide on Thursday.

Erdogan's office said the Turkish leader told Merkel it was "important that a prudent approach is displayed."