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Turkey angered by Pope's statement on Armenian genocide

June 07, 2013

Turkey’s foreign ministry has lodged a formal protest with the Vatican after Pope Francis referred to the mass murder of Armenians as “the first genocide of the 20th century.”

The Pope alluded briefly to the Armenian genocide during a June 3 meeting with Armenian Catholic Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni of Cilicia. Several years earlier, while serving as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio described the killing and forced deportation of millions of Armenians as “the gravest crime of Ottoman Turkey against the Armenian people and all of humanity.”

An estimated 1 to 1.5 million Armenians died between 1915 and 1918 in massacres, in concentration camps, and on forced marches. But the government of Turkey has steadfastly denied that a genocidal campaign took place. The Turkish government “expressed disappointment” over the Pope’s remarks, conveying its displeasure to Vatican diplomatic representatives both in Ankara and in Rome.


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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jun. 07, 2013 6:59 PM ET USA

    No one would entertain this 'protest' for one second if instead of Turkey it were Germany protesting the genocide it committed in the 40s. The pope should return the Turkish note announcing its 'displeasure' with a suggestion the Turks grow up and stop talking nonsense.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jun. 07, 2013 5:08 PM ET USA

    The Turks are the only ones who don't believe they did it. Watch for the Turkish government to misdirect the demonstrators from their current internal problems and demonstrations.