HOLLYWOOD (CBS) — Thousands of people marched through the streets of Hollywood on Tuesday to mark the 97th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide.

The march organized by the Unified Young Armenians issued a call for the Turkish government to take responsibility for the deaths of about 1.5 million people.

The Turkish government has questioned the number of deaths and denies it was a genocide.

Protesters waved flags or banners as they walked along Hollywood and Sunset boulevards ahead of another rally scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday
afternoon in front of the Turkish consulate.

Obama, who said during his presidential campaign that he would recognize the genocide, has yet to do so. In a statement today, he referred to the killings as “one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century,” and he called for a “full, frank and just acknowledgement of the facts.”

“Moving forward with the future cannot be done without reckoning with the facts of the past,” Obama said.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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