Lebanon summons Turkish ambassador after president raised Ottoman era atrocities

Lebanon's director of consular affairs, Ghadi Khoury (right) speaks to the Turkish ambassador Hakan Cakil after he was summoned to the foreign ministry in Beirut on Tuesday. (NNA)
Updated 03 September 2019

Lebanon summons Turkish ambassador after president raised Ottoman era atrocities

  • President Michel Aoun referred to violence and killing during the Ottoman occupation of what became the state of Lebanon
  • Turkey claimed the speech was 'baseless and biased'

BEIRUT: Lebanon summoned the Turkish ambassador on Tuesday over a war of words relating to atrocities carried out during the Ottoman empire. 

Beirut has been angered by a statement from the Turkish foreign ministry issued in response to a speech by President Michel Aoun, which referred to violence and killing during the Ottoman occupation of what became the state of Lebanon.

Hakan Cakil was ordered to attend the foreign ministry and asked for “clarifications about the statement and for clear correction of the mistake made by the Turkish side, to avoid misunderstanding and in preservation of the special bilateral ties.”

Speaking on Saturday to mark the centennial of the formation of Greater Lebanon, Aoun referred to the “state terror practiced by the Ottomans against the Lebanese, especially during World War I.”

He said there had been “hundreds of thousands of victims between famine, conscription and forced labor, without omitting the gallows through which they wanted to annihilate the spirit of emancipation and rebellion.”

On Sunday, the Turkish foreign ministry issued an angry response, accusing Aoun’s speech of being “baseless and biased.” It also said “terror” had not taken place under Ottoman rule.

The row comes shortly after a visit to Lebanon by the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.


Kuwait expects nearly 1.5 million expats to leave by end of year

Updated 11 July 2020

Kuwait expects nearly 1.5 million expats to leave by end of year

  • Over 158,000 expat workers have already left the country
  • The Egyptian and Indian expats communities were hit the hardest

DUBAI: Almost 1.5 million expatriate workers are expected to leave Kuwait by year’s end as economic slowdown due to the coronavirus pandemic forced companies to cut their workforce to save on costs and remain afloat.
Likewise, the government’s decision to lower the number of expats living in the country, through a new residency law, and its continuing Kuwaitization of jobs in the public sector also hit migrant workers.
Over 158,000 expat workers have already left the country only in a span of 116 days, or from March 16 until July 9, many of whom have been laid off because of the coronavirus crisis, local newspaper Arab Times reported.
The Egyptian and Indian expats communities were hit the hardest, the report said.
The draft of Kuwait’s new residency law would limit the number of foreign nationals recruited by companies each year and will include regulations based on their skills, Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh was earlier reported as saying.
The Kuwait parliament aims to have the legislation ready by October, prior to the November elections.