Istanbul: Thousands of Turks and Armenians from around the globe commemorated here the centenary of the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.
Events organised by Turkish and foreign non-governmental organisations were held in Istanbul throughout Friday to mark the anniversary of the killings.
The commemorations went ahead despite Turkey's rejection of the term "genocide" to describe the killings, and as world leaders joined hundreds of thousands of Armenians in Yerevan, capital of Armenia, to commemorate the deaths, Al Jazeera reported.
Turkey earlier this month recalled its ambassadors to the Vatican and the Austrian capital of Vienna for consultations after they called the mass killings of 1915 a "genocide".
The European Parliament also passed a non-binding resolution last week, calling upon Turkey to recognise the “Armenian genocide”, a move which prompted condemnation from Ankara.
In Taksim Square, the heart of Istanbul, an event attended by thousands of people and guarded by hundreds of security forces featured Armenian music and speeches by local and international community leaders.