Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that a decree signed by the French president designating April 24 as the day of commemoration for the Armenian genocide violated the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights and the French Supreme Court, Ahval news reported.
According to the decree signed by President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, a commemoration ceremony will be held in Paris every year on April 24.
“Macron is making populist rhetoric by trying to fulfil the promises he made to the Armenians in his election campaign,” Cavusoglu said on Twitter, referring to the European Parliament elections in May.
“They should look at their dark history first. It has been quarter century since the Rwanda genocide,” the Turkish minister said in a likely reference to accusations that France backed the Rwandan government that carried out the 1994 mass killings.
Turkey on Wednesday also condemned the Italian parliament’s approval of a bipartisan motion officially recognising the Armenian genocide and said the decision would have repercussions on bilateral relations.
The motion, submitted by the country’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement to the Chamber of Deputies, and backed by the far-right Northern League – the Lega Party – passed on Wednesday with 382 votes in favour, none against and 43 abstentions.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the move was a new example of using the issue for domestic political interests.
“It is not surprising that this motion was drafted by the Lega Party, led by Matteo Salvini, who is committed to sabotaging the relations between Turkey and Italy,” the ministry said.
The ministry said the Lega Party’s aim was to strengthen its position in European Parliament elections.