Turkey has recalled its ambassadors to Canada and France to protest moves by the governments of those two countries to describe the mass killings of Armenians 90 years ago as genocide.
The diplomatic move, expected to last "for a short time for consultations over the latest developments about the baseless allegations of Armenian genocide," was announced Monday.
The envoy to Ottawa, Aydemir Erman, is already back in Ankara, a Turkish government official told CBC News.
Countries around the world have been putting pressure on Turkey's government to acknowledge what happened between 1915 and 1923, when an estimated 1.5 million Armenians died.
Armenians have insisted their people were systematically killed during and after the First World War as the Ottoman Empire tried to quell the population in eastern Turkey.
Turkish rulers have long insisted that the death count was much lower, and that the deaths were the result of an uprising by Armenian militants as opposed to a government eradication campaign.
Harper's statement welcomed
On April 21, Prime Minister Stephen Harper repeated his support for past House of Commons and Senate votes that the deaths should be recognized as genocide.
"I and my party supported those resolutions and continue to recognize them today," Harper said.
Atom Egoyan, a Canadian film-maker of Armenian descent whose film Ararat traces the impact of the genocide, told CBC News that Harper's statement meant a lot to the Armenian community.
"I felt that it was an extraordinary moment to have that recognition at that level," he said in a Newsworld interview Monday.
"The reality of this is something that generations of Armenians have had to live with. It's been extraordinarily painful."
France making genocide denial a crime
For its part, France is considering draft legislation that would make it illegal to deny the Armenian deaths were a result of genocide.
French politicians have already voted to recognize the killings as genocide.
The international campaign to press Turkey to acknowledge what happened nine decades ago comes as the country seeks entry to the European Union.
Among other things, Turkey must agree to abide by European Union standards when it comes to human rights and justice - areas in which its government continues to attract criticism.