Turkey has recalled its envoy to the Vatican after Pope Francis controversially described Turkey’s mass killing of Armenian Christians in 1915 as the “first genocide of the 20th century”.

Next week will see commemoration events to mark 100 years since as many as one and a half million Armenians were killed by Ottoman forces, although Turkey disputes the figure and attributes the deaths to a civil conflict triggered by WW1.

The Armenian Catholic Patriach Nerses Bedros XIX defended Pope Francis, telling Fides he “spoke following his conscience … The Pope is not lined up with Armenians against the Turks”.

Sources: BBC, Fides