A member of a Turkish hacking team briefly blocked access to the Vatican’s official website on Tuesday night, in response to Pope Francis‘ describing the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as the “first genocide of the 20th century” on Sunday.
A Turkish hacker, who uses the Twitter account “Herakles” (@THTHerakles) shut down vatican.va, the official website of the Vatican, late on Tuesday. The news was first reported by the Italian media. Turkey’s Doğan news agency reported that the website was inaccessible up until the early hours of Wednesday.
The Vatican’s website is currently working by rerouting visitors to the address w2.vatican.va/content/vatican/it.html.
The hacker, who is reportedly a member of “Turkhackteam,” a nationalist group of Turkish hackers, posted messages on Twitter ahead of the cyber-attack, accusing the Turkish media of remaining silent in the face of Pope Francis’ Armenian genocide remark.
He also wrote messages prior to the attack saying: “Tonight I am going to pay a visit to Catholics. Let’s give a message to Mr. Pope.” He continued in another message by saying that “Armenians should know that we exist. This is not the first and will not be the last, even though our own media remains silent.”