Pope sparks Turkish anger by calling Armenian slaughter a 'genocide'
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis sparked a diplomatic incident with Turkey on Sunday by calling the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks "the first genocide of the 20th century" and urging the international community to recognize it as such.
Francis, who has close ties to the Armenian community from his days in Argentina, defended his pronouncement by saying it was his duty to honour the memory of the innocent men, women and children who were "senselessly" murdered by Ottoman Turks 100 years ago this month."
100 years since Muslims murdered 1.5 million+ Armenian Christians. I wonder how the Obamanation will commemorate the anniversary?
George Horton - The Blight of Asia:
I have just listened to the contents of a letter sent by one of our boys on an American destroyer at Smyrna. He tells of having to stand by while the brutal Turkish soldiers seized beautiful Christian girls and tore them screaming from their mothers and outraged them right on the public quay of Smyrna. He saw these brutal soldiers shooting down helpless women with children in their arms, unarmed men beaten to death by the butts of these Turkish soldiery. And then he tells of the anguish that he felt because the orders of our government were such that he had to stand by, helpless, before such atrocities.
After a period of beatings and deaths, the genocide began on April 23, 1915 with the rounding up and murder of thousands of Armenian community leaders. Systematic mass murder followed throughout Turkey. Men and women were often separated and the men murdered immediately or sent to death camps, such as those at Ras-Ul-Ain and Deir-el-Zor. Those who survived the sadistic deportations were forced into permanent exile. Armenian churches, monuments, quarters, and towns were destroyed in the process. Some Armenians were burned alive in their places of worship. One survivor from the town of Marash later told his tale to a U.S. oral-history archive: "Some 2000 Armenians had gathered, whom the Turks surrounded and poured gasoline all around and set them on fire. I, myself, was in another church that they were trying to set on fire and my father was thinking that this was the end of the family. He just gathered us around and pulled the movable pews around us as if he were trying to protect us and said something I will never forget: 'Don't be afraid, my children, because soon we will all be in heaven together.'