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Pope's "genocide" comments prompt backlash from Ankara

Monday, April 13, 2015 - 01:40

Pope Francis has sparked a diplomatic row between the Vatican and Ankara over his comments of the Armenian ''genocide'', but tourists at St. Peter's Square say the Pontiff was right to raise the issue. Mana Rabiee reports.

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The Vatican woke up on Monday morning to newspaper headlines announcing a diplomatic row ... ... between the Vatican and Turkey, over the Pope's comments the day before -- calling a 100-year-old massacre of Armenians by Turkey "genocide". It was a statement that prompted Turkey to recall its Ambassador to the Vatican. Turkish Minister for European Union Affairs Volkan Bozkir: (SOUNDBITE)(Turkish) MINISTER FOR EU AFFAIRS, VOLKAN BOZKIR, SAYING: "This statement is extremely controversial and it is not based on any historical documents and this statement is not acceptable. Turkey will not accept this statement and considers it as null and void." But among tourists in St Peter's Square, the Pope's use off the word "genocide" is winning compliments. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM, TOM DAVIDSON, SAYING: 'i I think it is not a bad thing that the Pope should raise it. I am not sure his reasons to raise it now but somebody has to do it sometimes.'' (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) TOURIST, AUSTRIAN LIVING IN SPAIN, MARIO, SAYING: 'The Turks killed the Armenians.... I think the Pope is right.'' Francis said the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottomon empire was the first genocide of the 20th Century. Turkey denies the number. It says many thousands -- not HUNDREDS of thousands-- died and accuses the Pontiff of inciting hatred and causing a problem of "trust". But Vatican insiders say the Pope's comments should be taken in their LARGER context ... Francis has urged Armenia and Turkey to reconcile over their disputed Caucus mountain region .... The diplomatic row, they say, should be short-lived.

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Pope's "genocide" comments prompt backlash from Ankara

Monday, April 13, 2015 - 01:40