The description given by Pope Francis for the events of 1915, which he termed as "genocide," came as a big surprise to Turkish authorities, Turkey's Ambassador in ParisHakki Akil said Monday.
"It is a big surprise because, when the Pope visited Turkey in November 2014, his remarks were quite different," the ambassador said. "Moreover, the Vatican's ambassador in Ankara had ensured that the Pope would not use the word 'genocide' and that he would deliver a humanitarian message to help improve Turkish-Armenian relations."
Akil was speaking at a gathering organized by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association in Paris.
"It is the job of the international court to decide whether the incidents were 'genocide' or not," he said, adding that Turkey shares the pain of the Armenians.
Pope Francis had said on Sunday that “the first genocide of the 20th century” struck the Armenians.
His statement led Turkey to recall its ambassador to the Vatican and also to summon the Vatican's envoy in Ankara.
Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday that the Pope’s statement was “unfortunate,” “incorrect” and “inconsistent.”
Davutoglu added that the remarks were not just about reading history incorrectly, but also “lent credence to the growing racism in Europe.”
On Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also criticized the Pope's remarks and said they contradict historical and legal facts.