That is the question some analysts are asking themselves in the days following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s condemnation of Pope Francis I. Francis referred to the Armenian “Genocide” as one of the three greatest mass murders of the 20th century in a joint mass with Armenian priests. He grouped the Armenian Genocide with the Holocaust and Stalinism in the same breath. Just yesterday, Austria also recognized the Armenian Genocide, prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador.
As Erdogan has reacted in the past, he was furious. He said the Pope would be wise not to make the same mistake again. In that, Erdogan extended the same angry response he had used against France several years ago against one of the most popular social and political figures on the planet.
It is a public relations disaster says Professor Louis Fishman of Brooklyn College, who focuses on Turkish Affairs.
“Due to the elections, the ‘angry’ part was revived. But, it’s not like it used to be.”
That is the assessment of the International Crisis Group’s Nigar Göksel, who wrote this week, “The nationalist vote is up for grabs in this June’s general election, leaving the incumbent AKP especially wary of being seen as bowing to foreign parliamentary resolutions.”
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