The Turkish president, meanwhile, defended the present-day treatment of Armenians in Turkey, saying, “There are 100,000 Armenians who are either Turkish citizens or not citizens in my country. Have they been submitted to any different treatment?”
He added that the Armenians in his country “benefit from all kinds of opportunities,” and Turkey does not deport them as, he said, “they are guests in our country.”
The issue was brought to the limelight on April 12, when in controversial remarks during a Sunday solemn mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis used the word “genocide” to describe the massacre. The pontiff said the incident was the “first genocide of the 20th century.”
Ankara was quick in responding to the remarks. The Turkish Foreign Ministry recalled its ambassador to the Vatican for consultation amid the worsening diplomatic row over the issue.
Davutoglu: Pope joined “an evil front”
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said during an event in Ankara on Wednesday that the Pope has joined “an evil front” plotting against Turkey.