Ankara Targets Lebanese-Armenian

07/14/2020 Lebanon (International Christian Concern) – Lebanese-Armenian TV host Neshan Der Haroutiounian  will be called to trial on October 8th for “insulting the Turkish president and the Turkish people.” This trial comes after Der Haroutiounian condemned the Ottoman Empire’s history, defending himself against an offensive message he received while on air. The Ottoman Empire preceded modern day Turkey and carried out a genocide against Armenian Christians from 1914-1923.

Turkish authorities responded quickly. Ankara called on the Lebanese Foreign Ministry to take necessary measures against the TV host. The Turkish Embassy then mobilized dozens of protesters in front of Der Haroutiounian’s show’s TV station. On July 9th, the Beirut Public Prosecutor announced that they will file charges against Der Haroutiounian. He is expected to appear before the Court of Publications Chamber.

“This is a matter of a historical dispute that has no prospect, knowing that it is about a great crime against the Armenian people — a crime that Turkey refuses to recognize. This in itself continues to provoke Armenians wherever they are,” Der Haroutiounian told The Arab Weekly.

Turkey is increasingly encroaching within the region, and has made it clear to other countries that it will not tolerate references to Turkey’s own genocidal history. In doing so, Turkey again perpetuates a policy which not only violates other country’s national sovereignty, but also worsens religious freedom within that locale.

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