06/15/2020 Lebanon (International Christian Concern) – Over the past few days, Lebanon’s Armenian community have come under attack from supporters of Turkey and Erdogan. This began when Armenian TV show host Nishan Der-Haroutunian received an offensive message while on the air. Der-Haroutunian responded by calling out the “insidious” history of the Ottomans and Turkey’s President Erdogan. Turkey refuses to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, which decimated their local Christian population.
Following the show, provocative statements increased, attacking the Armenian community in Lebanon and even justifying the genocide. Many also proudly considered themselves Ottoman-Turks and touted their support of Erdogan. In a viral video, the president of the Lebanese-Arab “Mardalia” Union also made direct threats to Der-Haroutunian and the greater Lebanese-Armenian community. He also threatened to slaughter Armenians living in Bourj Hammoud.
Anti-Armenian rhetoric is not uncommon, especially from Turkey. After Turkey asserted its power into both Syria and Libya, Lebanon is seen as another prospective battleground for Erdogan and his desire to reestablish Ottoman dominion. This uproar of support for the Erdogan regime, especially amidst Lebanon’s current economic crisis and already ongoing protests, brings concern for the country as a whole.
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