ANKARA: Turkey's foreign ministry said Saturday sections of US President Barack Obama's statement on the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire were "unacceptable."
"We consider some expressions in (Obama's) statement and the perception of history it contains concerning the events of 1915 as unacceptable," the ministry said in a written statement, adding that judgement on the atrocities should be left to historians.
"Common history of the Turkish and Armenian nations has to be assessed solely through impartial and scientific data and historians must base their evaluations only on such material," it added.
In his statement to mark April 24, the day on which Armenians commemorate the killings, Obama refrained from using the word "genocide" despite a campaign promise to do so.
He instead used the Armenian term "Meds Yeghern" which has been variously translated as "The Great Calamity" or "Great Disaster." The term predates the use of the word "genocide" but is sometimes used by Armenians to refer to the killings.
The US President branded the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as "one of the great atrocities of the 20th century.
"The Meds Yeghern must live on in our memories, just as it lives on in the hearts of the Armenian people," he added.
The Turkish ministry statement also said that Obama's message had failed to mention the "several hundreds of thousands of Turks" killed in fighting between Turks and Armenians during those years.
Armenians say 1.5 million of their people were victims of genocide in eastern Turkey from 1915 and many countries, including France and Canada, have officially recognised the killings as such.
Turkey categorically rejects the genocide label and argues that 300,000-500,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil strife when Armenians took up arms in eastern Anatolia and sided with invading Russian troops.
The Turkish foreign ministry, however, underlined that it welcomed Obama's support for Turkey and Armernia's efforts to mend fences.
Earlier this week, Turkey announced that it had agreed on a roadmap with Armenia to normalise relations in reconciliation talks mediated by Switzerland.
Although Turkey was one of the first countries to recognise Armenia when it gained independence in 1991, Ankara has refused to establish diplomatic ties with Yerevan because of its international campaign to have the killings acknowledged as genocide.
In 1993, Turkey also shut its border with Armenia in a show of solidarity with close ally Azerbaijan over its conflict with Yerevan over Nagorny Karabakh, an Armenian-majority enclave which broke away from Baku in the early 1990s.