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Turkey Slams Argentine Court Ruling on Genocide

ANKARA -- Turkey slammed a Friday Argentine court ruling, which said the Turkish state committed Genocide against the Armenians.

The Turkish foreign ministry on Monday said the ruling is an example of how legal systems are abused by "extreme nationalists" belonging to the Armenian Diaspora. The ministry said the decision was based on unserious accusations and it destabilizes Turkey's efforts to mend ties with Armenia, reported the Associated Press. Armenia's Ambassador to Argentina, Vladimir Karmirshalyan, on Saturday said the Argentine judge upheld the "the right to the truth."

An Argentine judge ruled Friday that "the Turkish state committed the crime of genocide against the Armenian people" between 1915 and 1923.

The 100-plus page ruling, which was read Friday, resulted from a case presented 10-year ago by the Luisa Hairapetian Fund. Throughout the proceedings, which lasted 120 months, the court has heard grueling testimony from Genocide survivors, their families and other members of the community.

The plaintiff, Gregorio Hairapetian was joined by his family, attorneys for the Luisa Hairapetian Foundation, the Argentine press corps, as well as the Armenian National Committee of Argentina members and the community at large.

In his ruling Friday, Judge Norberto Oyarbide said that Turkey should help an Armenian descendant living in Argentina learn the fate of more than 50 of his relatives who disappeared nearly a century ago.

Oyarbide used as a basis for his ruling the 2007 Argentine law that declares April 23 as a day of "solidarity and respect" in memory of the Armenian Genocide.

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