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.


Arab leaders pay tribute to late emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah

Updated 14 min 13 sec ago

Arab leaders pay tribute to late emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah

  • Leaders from Jordan, Bahrain, Egypt, Oman and Iraq flew to Kuwait to offer condolences to the Kuwaiti royal family

CAIRO: Arab leaders flew to Kuwait on Thursday to offer condolences to the family of the late Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who passed away this week aged 91.
The newly crowned emir, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the brother and successor of Sheikh Sabah, has received leaders from Jordan, Bahrain, Egypt, Oman and Iraq.
Jordan’s king Abdullah II and his son, Crown Prince Hussein, offered their condolences to the Kuwaiti royal family. The Jordanian king’s delegation also had senior officials, among them was the country’s prime minister, foreign minister and senate president.
The president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Iraqi President Barham Salih, and Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said were among those paying their respects.
El-Sisi and Sultan Haitham were received at the Emiri Terminal by Emir Sheikh Nawaf.
Saudi Arabia was represented by Mansour bin Mutib, an adviser to King Salman.
Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad also offered his condolences.
Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the UAE’s deputy prime minister and interior minister, and Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, minister of tolerance and coexistence also attended the funeral to pay their respects.
Sheikh Sabah was buried on Wednesday after his body was flown home from the United States, where he had been receiving treatment since July.