Thousands of Armenians took part in a torch-lit march in the capital Yerevan on Friday night, the day before the annual commemoration of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. On Saturday, in a break from previous US presidents, Joe Biden formally recognised the systematic killings and deportations of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century as genocide. April 24 is the annual commemoration of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. Video filmed Yerevan on Friday shows thousands of people taking part in the annual torch-lit march. In a statement published by the White House on Saturday, Biden said: "Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring. Beginning on April 24, 1915, with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople by Ottoman authorities, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination. We honor the victims of the Meds Yeghern so that the horrors of what happened are never lost to history. And we remember so that we remain ever-vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms." Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quick to criticise Biden's statement. Turkey rejects that the events of 1915 amounted to genocide.