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Turkey says pope’s genocide declaration bears stamp of ‘Crusades’ mentality’

Pope Francis and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin attend the Divine Liturgy at the Apostolic Cathedral in Etchmiadzin, outside Yerevan, on June 26, 2016. TIZIANA FABI / AFP

Pope Francis and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin attend the Divine Liturgy at the Apostolic Cathedral in Etchmiadzin, outside Yerevan, on June 26, 2016.<br />TIZIANA FABI / AFP

Turkey has condemned as “very unfortunate” Pope Francis’s declaration that the mass killings of Armenians a century ago by Ottoman forces amounted to a genocide, saying it bore traces of “the mentality of the Crusades.”

“It is not an objective statement that conforms with reality,” Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canlikli said late on Saturday, quoted by the state-run news agency Anadolu.

The pope on Friday denounced the World War I killing of Armenians as a genocide, prompting Turkey’s anger.

“Sadly this tragedy, this genocide, was the first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century,” the pope said at the presidential palace in Yerevan.

Canikli said: “It is possible to see all the hallmarks or reflections of the mentality of the Crusades in the Pope’s activities.”

When Francis last used the term in the Vatican in 2015, on the centenary of the killings, Ankara angrily recalled its envoy from the Holy See for nearly a year.

The pope on Saturday visited the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan but sought to strike a conciliatory tone during evening prayers.

“May God bless your future and grant that the people of Armenia and Turkey take up again the path of reconciliation, and may peace also spring forth in Nagorny Karabakh.”

Armenians have long sought international recognition for the World War I killings as genocide.

Turkey — the Ottoman Empire’s successor state — argues that it was a collective tragedy in which both Turks and Armenians died.




  • vic

    goat like stereotype behaviour of the west on genocide all ganging together against turkey.

    • Fred

      Perhaps you know better so why not tell the world the true story rather than making an idiotic comment@Victhemoron.

      • vic

        only idiotic fools and morons will conclude that there was genocide.

        this is the case of western politicians ganging together rewriting history for historians to downgrade turkey for reasons best known to them. there was no genocide whatever but equal casualties on both side as it very often happens in wars and battles of that nature. there were 2 million people who lost their lives in biafran war. was that a genocide??????????????????

        biafran war was for a reason which was least genocidal. get it, wiseman????????????????

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