Istanbul, April 16 () - Etyen Mahçupyan, who became the ever first Armenian-origin chief advisor to a Turkish prime minister when Ahmet Davutoğlu appointed him to the post on Aug. 27, 2014, has described the killings of Armenians in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Empire as a “genocide.”
“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,” Mahçupyan said in an interview with news website Karar.com.
Commenting on Pope Francis’ remarks on April 12 describing 1915 as “the first genocide of the 20th century” Mahçupyan 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, Mahçupyan 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.
Mahçupyan’s words contradict his boss somewhat, with both Prime Minister Davutoğlu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reacting angrily to Pope Francis’ remarks, with Davutoğlu going as far as to condemn the pope as part of an “evil front” targeting the Turkish government.