ANKARA—The pope’s reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide is being viewed as a larger conspiracy against the Turkish government, at least according to the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
The Hurriyet Daily News is reporting that Davutoglu has accused Pope Francis of “joining the conspiracy” of an “evil front” targeting Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“Currently, an evil front is being formed against us,” Davutoglu said during meeting in Ankara where his party’s election manifesto was announced and candidates running in the June 7 election were presented on April 15. “Now the pope has joined this conspiracy.”
Describing this “evil front,” Davutoglu also pointed the finger at the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), accusing them of being foreign “projects” to undermine the AKP before the elections.
“I am addressing the pope: Those who escaped from the Catholic inquisition in Spain found peace in our just order in Istanbul and İzmir. We are ready to discuss historical issues, but we will not let people insult our nation through history,” he added, referring to Sephardic Jews who fled the Iberian Peninsula and found refuge in the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century.
On April 14, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also condemned Pope Francis, warning him to not repeat the “mistake” of describing the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians as Genocide.