The hacker, a member of “Turkhackteam,” a nationalist group of Turkish Muslim hackers, posted messages on Twitter ahead of the cyber-attack, accusing the Turkish media of remaining silent in the face of Pope Francis’ Armenian genocide remark. Pope Francis correctly described the 1915 mass slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Muslim Turkish Empire as the “first genocide of the 20th century.”
Today’s Zaman Pope Francis made the controversial remark as he honored the 100th anniversary of the World War I massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire on Sunday. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican’s ambassador in Ankara on the same day.
Turkish officials reportedly told the ambassador that they were “deeply sorry and disappointed”, adding that the pope’s comments had caused a “problem of trust.” Turkey recalled its ambassador to Vatican City, Mehmet Paçacı, who arrived in İstanbul on Monday.
The hacker also wrote messages prior to the attack saying: “Tonight I am going to pay a visit to Catholics. Let’s give a message to Mr. Pope.” He continued in another message by saying that “Armenians should know that we exist. This is not the first and will not be the last, even though our own media remains silent.”
The hacker, speaking to the website hackread.com, said, “We want the pope to apologize for his words or we will make sure the website remains offline.” He told the website that the pope’s comments are unacceptable and that he is a religious figure — which the hacker respects — however, biased comments and calling what happened with Armenians during World War I genocide is not true.
Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by genocide scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey claims that the death toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.
The Armenian Genocide of 1.5 million Christians by Ottoman Muslim Turks: