Clooney joins Armenians to mark anniversary of massacre

American actor George Clooney has joined Armenians marking 101 years since a massacre by Ottoman Turks of some 1.5 million Armenians.

Clooney attended a service Sunday at a hilltop memorial led by Armenian church leader Catholicos Karekin II to commemorate the victims of the massacre.

The killing of more than 200 Armenian intellectuals on April 24, 1915 is regarded as the start of the massacre that is widely viewed by historians as the first genocide of the 20th century. Modern Turkey, the successor to the Ottoman Empire, vehemently rejects the charge.

Clooney has been a prominent voice in favor of countries recognizing the killings as genocide, which the United States has not done.

Memorial events kicked off late Saturday with a torchlight march to the memorial complex.