Turkey condemns French declaration of Armenian genocide commemoration day

Turkey denounces the declaration by France to commemorate the Armenian genocide. (File/AFP)
Updated 06 February 2019
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Turkey condemns French declaration of Armenian genocide commemoration day

  • Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War One
  • It disputes the figures and denies the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute a genocide

ANKARA: Turkey on Wednesday said it strongly condemned French President Emmanuel Macron's decision to declare April 24 as a day for the commemoration of the Armenian genocide, an issue that caused regular friction between Turkey and European Union nations.
"We condemn and reject attempts by Mr Macron, who is facing political problems in his own country, to save the day by turning historic events into political material," Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in a statement.
Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War One, but contests the figures and denies the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute a genocide.


Lebanese budget protesters clash with security in Beirut

Updated 25 min 57 sec ago
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Lebanese budget protesters clash with security in Beirut

  • Over one hundred protesters gathered Monday outside the Government House in downtown Beirut
  • Lebanon faces a looming fiscal crisis as the economy struggles with soaring debt

BEIRUT: Security forces opened water cannons on Lebanese anti-austerity protesters in the country’s capital on Monday, as the government continued to hold marathon meetings to discuss severe budget cuts.
Lebanon faces a looming fiscal crisis as the economy struggles with soaring debt, rising unemployment and slow growth. The government’s tightened budget and key reforms aim to unlock billions of dollars in pledged foreign assistance. But planned cuts have unleashed a wave of public discontent, amid leaks that austerity could target public wages, services and social benefits.

A retired Lebanese soldier chants slogans while holding an army flag, during a protest in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday. (AP)

Over one hundred protesters gathered Monday outside the Government House in downtown Beirut shouting “Thieves, thieves!” as the Cabinet met for its 16th session and struggles to reach agreement.
Protesters pushed back against police lines and set fire to tires outside the building. At least two policemen and one civilian were wounded in the scuffles.
Among those demonstrating Monday were public and private school teachers and retired officers.
The government, headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, has sought to calm nerves while also describing the upcoming budget as the most austere in Lebanon’s history.
Hariri said he hopes the government will be able to send the budget to parliament later this week.
Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said the cabinet made “important progress” in discussions Sunday.