Turkey Summons Vatican Ambassador over Pope's Armenian ‘Genocide’ Claim

World | April 12, 2015, Sunday // 16:52|  views

Photo by EPA/BGNES

Turkey summoned the Vatican Ambassador in Ankara after Pope Francis described the mass killing of Armenians in WW1 as genocide.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry requested a meeting with the Vatican's envoy in Ankara after the Pope’s comments during Sunday's Mass in the Armenian Catholic rite at Peter's Basilica, according to reports of the BBC News.

During the service, he said that humanity had lived through "three massive and unprecedented tragedies" in the last century.

"The first, which is widely considered 'the first genocide of the 20th Century', struck your own Armenian people," Pope Francis stated, citing a 2001 declaration signed by Pope John Paul II.

He also mentioned the crimes "perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism" and said other genocides had followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Burundi and Bosnia.

According to sources close to the matter, as cited by Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish authorities will come up with an “adequate” official response after consultations.

Official sources speaking on condition of anonymity say that the Pope’s remarks were received with “deep sorrow and disappointment” by Turkey.

Armenia says up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed in a genocide which started on April 24, 1915.

Turkey opposes the definition of genocide for the mass killings and insists that the number of deaths has been inflated, including victims of unrest during World War I.

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Tags: Pope Francis, Vatican, genocide, Armenian Genocide


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