Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir PutinReuters

Turkey is continuing to quarrel with other countries over the definition of the mass killings of Armenians in 1915.

Russia on Friday became the latest country to be condemned by Turkey, after President Vladimir Putin referred to “genocide” during commemorations of the mass killings.

The Turkish foreign ministry responded to Putin’s comments by saying, according to AFP, "We reject and condemn... (Putin's) characterization of 1915 events as genocide despite all our warnings and calls".

Speaking earlier at a ceremony in Armenia, Putin referred to "mass" killings, but also once used the word "genocide" -- which Turkey strongly objects to -- while mentioning that Moscow is party to several international legal initiatives, including a convention against genocide.

"Such political statements which represent a clear violation of law is considered null and void by Turkey," the ministry said, according to AFP.

Ankara also said Russian insistence on the "mistake" would not help peace and prosperity, urging Moscow "to leave its biased attitude and instead encourage Armenia and Armenians to respond positively to Turkey's appeal for friendship and peace."

Turkey says it shares the pain of Armenians over the events but has vehemently rejected use of the term genocide, contending that hundreds of thousands were killed on both sides as Ottoman forces battled the Russian empire for control of Anatolia.

Russia becomes just the latest country to be condemned by Turkey over the issue. Earlier this month, Pope Francis drew Turkey's wrath after describing the killings as "the first genocide of the 20th century".

Turkey summoned the Vatican's ambassador in Ankara over the remarks and recalled the Turkish envoy to the Vatican. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded with anger to the Pope’s remarks, warning him not to repeat such a “mistake” again.

Last Thursday the EU Parliament also voted to recognize the genocide, and after Austria recognized the genocide, Ankara pulled its ambassador to Vienna on Wednesday.

Germany President Joachim Gauck also joined the condemnation of 1915 massacre as "genocide".

More than 20 nations, including France and Russia, have recognized the Armenian genocide.  President Barack Obama, however, has chosen not to recognize the genocide, despite an election promise he made during his 2008 presidential campaign.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)