People participate in a torchlight procession through the city to commemorate the anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2015 in Yerevan, Armenia.
Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty

Armenian genocide: On 100th anniversary, Germany becomes latest to use term

 

YEREVAN — Armenia marked the 100th anniversary on Friday of a mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as Germany became the latest country to recognize it as a genocide.

Turkey denies that the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians in what is now Turkey in 1915 constitutes genocide, and relations with Armenia are still blighted by the dispute.

Germany’s parliament approved a resolution Friday branding the killings a “genocide,” risking a diplomatic rupture with Ankara in a significant change of stance for Turkey’s biggest trade European Union trade partner.

RELATED: Pope Francis calls Armenian slaughter ‘1st genocide of 20th Century’

The European Parliament refers to the killings as genocide, as did Pope Francis this month. The U.S. has refrained from doing so. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan as recently as Thursday refuted the description of the killings as genocide.

The French and Russian presidents, Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin, were among guests Friday at a hilltop memorial near the Armenian capital Yerevan and led calls for reconciliation.

“Recognition of the genocide is a triumph of human conscience and justice over intolerance and hatred,” Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan said.

In a speech at the ceremony that was met by warm applause, Hollande said a law adopted by France in 2001 on recognition of the killings as genocide was “an act of truth.”

This article originally appeared at NBCNews.com

Armenia and Human rights

Armenian genocide: On 100th anniversary, Germany becomes latest to use term