Turkish police block Armenian ‘genocide’ rally in Istanbul

Armenians commemorate on April 24, the 104th anniversary of the killing of 1.5 million by Ottoman forces, as a fierce dispute still rages with Turkey over Ankara’s refusal to recognize the mass murder as genocide. (AFP)
Updated 24 April 2019

Turkish police block Armenian ‘genocide’ rally in Istanbul

  • Troops from the Ottoman Empire — which preceded modern-day Turkey — were responsible for mass killing of Armenians
  • Turkey has always denied that the incident amounted to genocide

ISTANBUL: Turkish police on Wednesday blocked protesters trying to hold a commemoration in Istanbul of the 1915 massacres and forced deportation of Armenians.
Troops from the Ottoman Empire — which preceded modern-day Turkey — were responsible for mass killing of Armenians, but Turkey has always denied that the incident amounted to genocide.
France on Wednesday holds its first “national day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide” in a move that has angered Turkey’s government.
About 100 protesters, including some French and European Parliament lawmakers, attempted to hold a ceremony in Istanbul to mark the massacres, but were prevented by police, an AFP reporter said.
“It has been nine years now that these commemorations of the Armenian genocide are being held here, and it is the first time that the state prevents us,” said Benjamin Abtan, one of the activists at the Istanbul rally.
Armenians commemorate the massacres on April 24 — the day in 1915 when thousands of Armenian intellectuals suspected of harboring nationalist sentiment and being hostile to Ottoman rule were rounded up.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called French leader Emmanuel Macron a “political novice” for the French commemoration and pointed to abuses by French troops during the colonial era.
“If we look at those trying to give lessons on human rights or democracy to Turkey on the Armenian question and the fight against terrorism, we see that they all have a bloody past,” the Turkish leader said on Wednesday.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will lead the commemorations in Paris by giving a speech and laying flowers at a Monument for the Armenian Genocide erected on the north bank of the river Seine in April 2003.


Israeli jets strike Hamas targets in Gaza: military

Updated 42 min 25 sec ago

Israeli jets strike Hamas targets in Gaza: military

  • Israeli fighter jets carried out strikes on Hamas facilities in Gaza

JERUSALEM: Israeli fighter jets carried out strikes on Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip after a “rocket” was fired from the Hamas-controlled enclave toward the Jewish state, its military said Monday.
Israel said Sunday night a “projectile” fired from Gaza had been intercepted by its Iron Dome anti-rocket system.
It was the first to be fired from the Palestinian coastal enclave since the first week of July, and set off sirens, the Israeli army said.
In response, “our fighter jets and & aircraft just struck subterranean Hamas terror facilities in Gaza,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the regional council of Shaar Hanegev, the area where the sirens sounded, said the projectile launched from Gaza had not caused any damage or casualties.
Israel and Islamist movement Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.
Despite a truce in recent months, they have periodically exchanged fire, with militants in the strip lobbing rockets into Israel and the Jewish state responding with strikes against targets inside Gaza.