ANKARA—Etyen Mahcupyan, the chief adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu described the killing of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 as genocide, reported Hurriyet Daily News.
“If accepting that what happened in Bosnia and Africa were genocides, it is impossible not to call what happened to Armenians in 1915 genocide too,” Mahcupyan said in an interview with news website Karar.com.
Commenting on Pope Francis’ remarks on April 12 describing the events of 1915 as “the first genocide of the 20th century,” Mahcupyan said the Vatican had “thrown out a 100-year-old psychological burden.”
He said that what actually needs to be questioned is the 100-year-old resistance to using the term. “The Vatican could have long ago said such a thing, but it did not do so,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mahcupyan also said the term “genocide” carries a “psychological meaning” for Armenians and others, rather than a “political meaning.”
“What counts is facing what has happened. The important thing is to look into what happened and to produce the future together, taking lessons from it all,” he said.
Mahcupyan’s words contradict his bosses, with both Prime Minister Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacting angrily to Pope Francis’ remarks, with Davutoglu going as far as to condemn the pope as part of an “evil front” targeting the Turkish government.