On Sunday, Pope Francis described the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians the “first genocide of the 20th century,” prompting Turkey to summon up its ambassador to the Vatican.
Turkey, which refuses a genocide happened, quickly confronted the pope’s remarks marking 100 years since the beginning of the killings. The comments made by Francis in a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica attended by Serge Sarkisian, the Armenian President.
The Turkish Foreign Minister MevlutCavusoglu tweeted, “The pope’s statement which is far from historic and legal truths is unacceptable. Religious positions are not places where unfounded claims are made and hatred is stirred.”
In his note to the Armenian faithful, Francis said, “Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it,” reported by the Associated Press.
“A century has passed since that horrific massacre which was a true martyrdom of your people, in which many innocent people died as confessors and martyrs for the name of Christ. Even today, there is not an Armenian family untouched by the loss of loved ones due to that tragedy: It truly was Metz Yeghern, the ‘Great Evil’, as it is known by Armenians,” the pope said.
Armenia officially marks the murders on April 24 and many historians state deaths increased up to 1.5 million.
The quantity of deaths has been exaggerated, which Turkey disagrees, and the people who died were victims of civil warfare and conflict through the fall down of the Ottoman Empire, not genocide.
Sunday, the Foreign Ministry stated that the Turkish citizens would not distinguish the pope’s declaration “which is controversial in every aspect, which is based on prejudice, which distorts history and reduces the pains suffered in Anatolia under the conditions of the First World War to members of just one religion.”
The murders are known as genocide by some of the nations all over the world, however, Turkey’s associates Italy and the United States have shunned with the controversial phrase. Genocide was described by the United Nations as acts proposed to demolish a national, ethnic, racial or religious assembly, in entire or in part.
The Pope’s remarks on Sunday referred to “three massive and unprecedented tragedies” for the last century.
He stated “The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th century,’ struck your own Armenian people, the first Christian nation, as well as Catholic and Orthodox Syrians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Greeks,” mentioning a September 2001 statement signed by St. John Paul II and Armenian church organizer Karenkin II that illustrated the killings as genocide.
The Holocaust and Stalinism and mass murders in nations counting Cambodia, Rwanda, Burundi and Bosnia were also referred by the pope.
Turkey’s delegation to the Vatican disregarded an intended news meeting for Sunday, apparently after knowing that the pope would complete the word “genocide” above its oppositions. As an alternative, the Foreign Ministry in Ankara passed an abrupt announcement imparting its “great disappointment and sadness.”
It stated the pope’s terms gestured a failure in trust, opposed the pope’s significance of peace and was prejudiced because Francis only pointed out the pain of Christians, not Muslims or any further spiritual groups.
On Sunday, the pope furthermore marked St. Gregory of Narek, a 10th-century Armenian priest and spiritualist, a doctor of the church, a designation which has been given to only 35 further people.