Monday, June 27, 2016

The Pope & Turkey

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Pope Francis just finished a visit to Armenia and, as expected, he ruffled Turkey's feathers.

When the Pope arrived he made a clear declaration condemning the Turkish- led Armenian Genocide as a planned attempt to murder Armenians.

In response the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Nerettin Canikli, called the PopeĆ¢€™s declaration "greatly unfortunate." He said that the Pope was showing a bias that resembled "the mentality of the Crusades."

Last year Pope Francis made a similar statement condemning the Armenian Genocide which resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians. As a result Turkey withdrew its ambassador from the Holy See for ten months, only now returning to their post in Rome. The Turks accused the Pope of spreading lies.

The Turkish claim is that people died on both sides and that it was the middle of WWI just as the Ottoman Empire was breaking down. They also simply say that the number 1.5 is a huge exaggeration.

Turkey is in the midst of trying to resurrect diplomatic relations with Israel. The day before the preliminary deal was signed Turkey hosted a formal meeting with the head of Hamas.

Turkey appears to have a warped sense of the code of conduct for the art of diplomacy and they just don't know how to get along with others. 

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