Star daily: “Mind your own business, Pope,”

poppRejecting worldwide pressure, Turkey has drawn a defiant red line in refusing to recognise the mass killings of Armenians in World War I as genocide on the 100th anniversary year of the tragedy.

Turkey’s tough approach on the issue was shown Sunday by Ankara’s incendiary reaction to the use by Pope Francis of the word “genocide” to describe the killings, summoning the Vatican nuncio and recalling the Turkish envoy to the Holy See.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in an unusual attack by a world leader on the pontiff, accused Francis of a “one-sided” and “inappropriate” attitude that he said ignored the suffering of Muslims in World War I.

The exchanges have intensified tensions ahead of the 100th the anniversary of the start of the killings on April 24.

Even before the pope waded into the controversy, Armenians accused Turkey of trying to overshadow what they call their genocide commemorations by staging ceremonies on the same day to mark the centenary of the famous World War I battle of Gallipoli.

“Mind your own business, Pope,” screamed the headline in the pro-government Star daily. “The New Crusade,” fumed the Aydinlik daily

A Turkish government source told AFP that Ankara had been “truly surprised” by the
– Armenia and Armenians in the diaspora say 1.5 million of their forefathers were killed by Ottoman forces in a targeted campaign ordered by the military leadership of the Ottoman empire to eradicate the Armenian people from Anatolia in what is now eastern Turkey, an argument backed by several European parliaments.

Turkey takes a sharply different view of the tragedy, saying that hundreds of thousands of both Turks and Armenians lost their lives as Ottoman forces battled the Russian Empire for control of eastern Anatolia during World War I.

83 Comments