Pope Francis made a speech on the Orthodox Easter which was celebrated last Sunday.
He named the main genocide of the XX century. According to him, that is the slaughter of more than 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces.
The Turkish officials, however, diminish the number to 300 000 – 500 000 people and insist on calling them the casualties of World War I.
The Pope claimed that we should remember such tragedies, “It is necessary, and indeed a duty, to honor their memory, for whenever memory fades, it means that evil allows wounds to fester.”
It broached great anger among the officials in Ankara. The Prime Minister and President condemned such expressions and warned the pontiff against making such ill-considered statements.
Recep Erdogan added, “If politicians and religious leaders do the job of historians, then we will not get to the truth and only end with nonsense.”
The Turkish ambassador to the Vatican has been recalled for further consultation.
A number of countries, including Russia, France, Italy and Belgium also acknowledge the massacre as genocide.
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