Turkey says pope’s genocide words show ‘unconditional commitment to Armenian narrative’
ANKARAAnkara has criticized Pope Francis’ description of the mass killing of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 as genocide, saying it shows his “unconditional commitment to the Armenian narrative.”
“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 Catholicos, 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 Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said on June 25 that it was “very unfortunate” the pope had used the word “genocide.”
“It is unfortunately possible to see all the reflections and traces of a Crusader mentality in the actions of the papacy and the pope,” Canikli added.
The Vatican refuted Canikli’s remarks on June 26, saying the pope had “not said any word against the Turkish people.”
“The pope is not on a crusade. He is not trying to organize wars or build walls. He wants to build bridges,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters.