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.


Coalition forces intercept Houthi drones in Yemeni airspace

Updated 15 August 2020

Coalition forces intercept Houthi drones in Yemeni airspace

  • Houthi drones were shot down before leaving Yemeni airspace

DUBAI: The Saudi-led coalition forces in Yemen have intercepted a number of armed Houthi drones, coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said.

The drones were shot down in Yemeni airspace on Saturday evening after being launched by militia in the country’s capital city, Sana’a according to the state news agency SPA.

There was no suggestion that anyone was hurt in the incident.

The Houthis regualrly fire drones towards Saudi Arabia in breach of international law, but the majority are shot down without causing any fatalities or injuries.