Turkey to send Vatican envoy back after Pope’s remarks

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman says Turkish ambassador Mehmet Pacaci will return to Vatican after dispute over Pope’s remarks on 1915 events

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Saint Peter's basilica at the Vatican

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said on Wednesday that the Turkish ambassador to the Vatican, Mehmet Pacaci would return to duty following the row over Pope Francis’ remarks on 1915 events.

"It has been decided that our ambassador to the Vatican, Mehmet Pacaci, who has been in Ankara since the religious ceremony held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on April 12, 2015, will return to duty." Bilgic said.

The political tension between the Vatican and Turkey came after Pope Francis's remarks during the ceremony for Armenians on April 12, 2015 as the Pope called the killing of Armenians in 1915 a "genocide".

That day, Pacaci was recalled by Turkey after the Pope's remarks.

The Vatican Press Office stated Wednesday that it acknowledged Turkey's "repeated commitment" to open archives to historians and researchers in order to shed light on the 1915 events.

The 1915 events occurred during World War I when a part of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and revolted.

The relocation of Armenians by the Ottomans in eastern Anatolia following the revolts resulted in numerous casualties.

Turkey does not dispute that there were casualties on both sides, but rejects calling the events “genocide". Instead, it calls for a joint commission of historians to be established and archives to be opened in order to study and uncover what happened between the Ottoman Empire and its Armenian citizens.

TRTWorld, AA