The Turkish authorities are desperate after Pope Francis described the Armenian slaughter in the Ottoman Empire as the “first genocide in the 20th century” in a Mass at the Vatican commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Turks were hopeful the Pope would skip the word “genocide.”
“Ankara’s hopes vanished and the mass media are reflecting the shock,” editor-on-chief of the Istanbul-based Marmara daily Rober Hatechian told Public Radio of Armenia.
“The word genocide has irritated Turkey, especially considering that a few days prior to the Mass, the Turkish Ambassador to the Vatican had ensured that the Pope would not utter the term ‘genocide’,” Hatechian said.
The liturgy exceeded all expectations, forcing Ankara to take action immediately following the Mass.
Rober Hatechian is delighted by the rite. “It was a brilliantly organized ceremony,” he said, praising the fact that the Armenian music was played and excerpts from the Armenian gospels were read out.
Unlike the authorities, the people in Turkey are not concerned about Pope’s statement. On these days they are busy with the parliamentary elections in Turkey scheduled for June 7.