April 12, 2015 / 4:18 PM / 3 years ago

Turkey recalls Vatican ambassador after pope's genocide comments

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey called its ambassador to the Vatican back to Ankara for consultation, the foreign ministry said on Sunday, after Pope Francis publicly described the 1915 massacre of Armenians as genocide.

Muslim Turkey accepts that many Christian Armenians died in clashes with Ottoman soldiers beginning in 1915, when Armenia was part of the empire ruled from Istanbul, but denies hundreds of thousands were killed and that this amounted to genocide.

The ministry said in a statement that the pope’s comments were “null and void” to the Turkish people.

Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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