Ankara to summon Vatican’s top diplomat in Ankara

Ankara to summon Vatican’s top diplomat in Ankara

Emine Kart - ANKARA
Ankara to summon Vatican’s top diplomat in Ankara Turkey will soon summon the current chief of the diplomatic mission of the Holy See in Ankara in order to express its uneasiness over Pope Francis’ use of the term “genocide” to describe the Ottoman-era mass killings of Anatolian Armenians.

The Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry already displayed its anger with the pope’s description through an official written statement, which it released on June 27.

The next step will be summoning the top Vatican diplomat accredited in Ankara, Hürriyet Daily News learned from reliable sources. Nonetheless, the ambassador designate of the Holy See, who arrived in Ankara recently, has not yet presented his credentials to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Thus, it is highly likely that Angelo Accattino, acting as the first counselor of the embassy since July 2015, will be the one who will be summoned to the Foreign Ministry headquarters.

Meanwhile, Ankara was not yet planning a step such as recalling its ambassador to the Vatican, Mehmet Paçacı, for a consultation, sources said.

“The fact that Pope Francis went to the ‘genocide monument’ during his visit to Armenia between June 24 and June 26, made unfortunate statements on the 1915 incidents, made unacceptable references to the 1915 incidents in a joint statement with the Armenian Catholics, and made statements proven to be lies and slander while returning, showed Pope Francis’ unconditional commitment to the Armenian narrative. This does not comply with historical facts or the law regarding the 1915 incident,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

The timing of the release of the written statement was delicately set. In order for being able to see the entire picture surrounding the matter, Ankara waited for the pope’s visit to end. 

Ankara released the statement before noon on June 27. According to Vatican Radio, “Pope Francis left the Armenian capital, Yerevan, on the afternoon on June 26 at the conclusion of his three day pastoral visit to the Caucasian nation.”

“The pope was due to arrive back in Rome shortly before 9 p.m. local time at the conclusion of this 14th international papal journey,” said Vatican Radio.