(Reuters) - Hungary's public radio will commemorate what it says is the Turkish genocide of 1.5 million Armenians 90 years ago by broadcasting the ringing of bells from Armenian churches in five countries next week.
"The radio is paying its respect to those killed in the first holocaust of the 20th century by airing the ringing of bells from five different churches at noon each day," the radio's Communication Director Katalin Morvai told Reuters.
Hungary's Kossuth radio has broadcast the sound of a different bell, together with its description each week since 2000, and it sometimes dedicates the ringing to special causes, most recently the death of Pope John Paul, Morvai said. Next week's bells will be from churches in Budapest, Romania, Jerusalem, Beirut and Yerevan.
Ankara fears the anniversary, to be marked by Armenians and their sympathizers on April 24, will trigger an outburst of anti-Turkish feeling worldwide and dampen its aspirations for European Union membership. The Turkish Embassy in Budapest said it had no comment, as it was not aware of the radio station's intentions.
Hungary's government supports Turkey's European Union accession bid, as do a big majority of Hungarians.