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Lebanese activists hang anti-Turkey banner at Turkish Embassy amid diplomatic crisis

PHOTO: Naharnet

Several Lebanese activists on Thursday put an anti-Turkey banner on the gate of the Turkish Embassy in the Beirut suburb of Rabieh amid a row between Lebanon and Turkey over the 1516-1918 Ottoman administration of Lebanon, the Naharnet news website reported.

“You too bug off,” says the banner, which shows a Turkish flag defiled with what appears to be the angel of death. The slogan emulates an anti-Israel term that Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah used in a speech in recent days.

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned the Turkish ambassador to protest a Turkish statement that criticized President Michel Aoun over his latest remarks about the Ottoman era.

In its statement the Turkish Foreign Ministry had strongly condemned Aoun’s remarks, describing them as “deeply regrettable and irresponsible.”

“President Aoun’s disregard for what happened during the [Western] colonialism period, through distorting history with hallucination and his attempt to put the blame on the Ottoman administration, is a tragic manifestation of his passion for surrendering to colonialism,” the Turkish statement said.

In a speech Saturday marking 100 years since the declaration of the State of Greater Lebanon, Aoun said, “All attempts for liberation from the Ottoman yoke were met with violence, killings and the sowing of sectarian discord.”

“The state terrorism that the Ottomans practiced against the Lebanese, especially during World War I, led to hundreds of thousands of victims, who were killed by famine, conscription and forced labor,” the president added.

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