ISTANBUL–Pope John Paul II’s visit to Dzidzernagaberd–the Genocide Memorial–was expected to be the most politically significant visit–throughout his entire stay in Armenia. Turkish press agencies pointed out that before visiting Armenia–the Pope had promised the Turkish government that he would not make any political statemen’s–and that he would not use the word "genocide." Some Turks still believe that the Pope has kept his promise and has not used the word "genocide." However this did not satisfy all the Turks. Haper Turk TV station–and the Hyurriet–Milliyet and Agsham newspapers all stated that although the Pope did not use the word Genocide–he still said "Mets Yeghern." When translated to English–"Mets Yegern" means "Immense Tragedy" which to many Armenia’s means "genocide." However–Milliyet newspaper also said that by using the word "Mets Yeghern" the Pope did not make any accusations against the Turks.
The Pope’s position did not please the Armenia’s or the Turks. According to Hyurriet newspaper Turkish officials have already sent a letter to the Vatican–expressing their disappointment with the Pope because he had disregarded his promise to President Ahmet Sezer–in order to make the Armenia’s happy–and by visiting Dzidzernagaberd he disrespected the Turkish government and people.
The letter was delivered by Turkish Ambassador Altan Kiven.