Anger at Pope’s Mention of Armenian Genocide

Turkish leaders reacted with outrage this week after Pope Francis referred to the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I as “the first genocide of the 20th century.” Turkey recalled its Vatican envoy, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the pope “not to repeat his mistake,” saying, “It is not possible for the Turkish Republic to accept such a sin, such a crime.” Most historians say that more than 1 million Armenians were systematically killed as they were driven out of Turkey.  But Turkey says far fewer died, and only in the normal course of war. It is illegal in Turkey to refer to the event as genocide.