Turkey has summoned the Vatican’s ambassador in Ankara over the Pope Francis’s comments on the mass deportation of Armenians in 1915 during a solemn mass in Vatican April 12, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.
Pope Francis referred to the killings of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 as “the first genocide of the 20th century,” citing a statement signed by John Paul II and the Armenian patriarch in 2001.
“In the past century our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies,” he said. “The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th century,’ struck your own Armenian people.”
“We recall the centenary of that tragic event, that immense and senseless slaughter whose cruelty your forebears had to endure,” Francis said.
“It is necessary, and indeed a duty, to honor their memory, for whenever memory fades, it means that evil allows wounds to fester,” he added.