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Turkey anger at Pope Francis Armenian ‘genocide’ claim

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Turkey has criticised Pope Francis for using the word “genocide” to describe the mass killing of Armenians under Ottoman rule in World War 1.

Ankara immediately summoned the Vatican’s envoy after the Pope made the comments at a service in Rome.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister described it as “far from the historical reality”.

Armenia and many historians say up to 1.5 million people were killed by Ottoman forces in 1915. Turkey has always disputed the number of dead.

The dispute has continued to sour relations between Armenia and Turkey.

‘Bleeding wound’

The Pope made the comments at a Mass in the Armenian Catholic rite at Peter’s Basilica, attended by the Armenian president and church leaders.

He said that humanity had lived through “three massive and unprecedented tragedies” in the last century.

“The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th Century’, struck your own Armenian people,” he said, in a form of words used by a declaration by Pope John Paul II in 2001.

Pope Francis also referred to the crimes “perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism” and said other genocides had followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Burundi and Bosnia.

He said it was his duty to honour the memories of those who were killed.

“Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it,” the Pope added.  READ MORE HERE

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