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France 24

“Erdogan, assassin”, French Armenians on the streets to commemorate the genocide

Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan Nagorno-lived Armenian diaspora affected by the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, genocide 106. Saturday to commemorate the anniversary of Paris, he walked in Lyon and Marseille. During this Memorial Day, some demonstrators expressed an unprecedented sense of insecurity in the host country. Interview. Pastor Gilbert Leonian was soundly asleep when they came to set his church on fire. It was 6 am on a Sunday morning in Alfortville, in the suburbs of Paris. The ritual in the Armenian Protestant church did not start for a few hours. It was his wife who woke up to hear the sound of the gas canister thrown at the main door. The garbage was already on fire when he got up to go to the bedroom window on the first floor. “I thought the church and the stairs were burning and we were going to die,” says Father Leonian. Fortunately, the flames darkened the church door. However, the same week, another breakdown took place, a few days after an Iraqi pastor’s visit. It was 2017, and according to the Armenian community, these attacks were going to be more and more in France. “I feel less safe,” Veskan said at a rally held in Paris for the 106th anniversary of the 1915-1918 genocide, in which approximately 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Empire. In 2001, France officially recognized the Armenian genocide, and in February 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron decided that April 24, the day the massacres began, will now be a “national commemoration day”. More than a century after the Genocide, a crowd gathered in front of the statue of Armenian composer Komitas in the 18th district of Paris. “The genocide continues” started demonstrators before marching along the Seine towards the Turkish embassy. “Erdogan’s assassin!” A crowd shouts in anger at the violent opposition of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Young parents, little children, young girls wrapped in the Armenian flag, three generations marched at the beginning of the procession in a bright sun. Some of them show photographs of the heroes of the Armenian resistance. On some there are signs that President Erdogan is seen as a demon or a murderer. “Hitlerdogan”, we can read one of them. In 2020 Armenia and Azerbaijan’s ally conflict in everyone’s mind in the Nagorno-Karabakh against Turkey … anger the diaspora Azerbaijani President has continued to increase, Ilham Aliyev, after losing all of Armenia’s terrible defeat and their land. “Erdogan gave them confidence.” But beyond the humiliation of the defeat and the suffering of the fate of the 300 Armenian political prisoners held in Azerbaijan, the diaspora is concerned about the violence perpetrated by Turkish ultranationalist groups on French soil. “” Turkey, Armenia to be “written sign wearing a 39-year-old Sabrina Davidian,” he said. “Turkey’s tentacles extend to France, the hate campaign against the Armenians as if it had never stopped.” Many demonstrators also expressed concern about the events taking place in Décines-Charpieu in the suburbs. On October 28, as the war in Nagorno-Karabakh intensified, hundreds of supporters of the Gray Wolves’ far-right movement marched through the streets calling for the “Death of the Armenians”. France banned the small group. The Gray Wolves are in November 2020, but no one in the Armenian community believes that the movement really broke up. “Where are the Armenians?” The attackers shouted across the city, waving iron bars and Turkish flags, chanting pro-Erdogan slogans, and destroying Armenian shops. Veskan’s friend Sevag said, “It was like Germany in the 1930s.” Like most of those who attended this meeting, the third generation, anxious and nervous Armenians did not want to give their full name. “Ten years ago they would never have dared to do this”, “Erdogan gave them confidence. He is financing them, the Turkish embassy here, his backyard”. According to Sevag, the Armenian community even started to increase the security of its schools and associations and kept guards. The young man says he is outraged that Ahmet Çetin, 23, the instigator of the Décines-Charpieu attacks, who called for violence against Armenians on social networks, was sentenced to only six months in prison and a 1,000 euro fine. French journalist and researcher Tigrane Yegavian said, “But imagine a 16/17 year old young man who hears these words. He sees that there is an Armenian school and he will say to himself, ‘Well, I will do this job.'” French journalist and researcher Tigrane Yegavian Thought Tank Research Center (CF2R) warning about instrumentalizing this ancient conflict in France. “Those are very dangerous. Worrisome if nothing is done in France – we are moving towards a civil war climate in practice” in the world except the Armenians of Azerbaijan and Turkey, adding in anywhere they experience problems of integration “We’re not in aggression,” “I have nothing against Turkish people, I have nothing. ”71- A one-year-old writer whose latest novel is based on the story of his grandmother who was sold as a slave to the Turks when he was 10 years old. “We share the same cuisine, the same music, almost the same dance, I blame the State … and Erdogan playing with fire”. “They are still there”, Pierre thinks, corresponds to the current Nagorno-Karabakh with the glory of the former Armenian province Artsakh. In December, he claims he was followed by a car with the Gray Wolves badge and the driver would make a roll-up move from the rearview mirror. While some worry that the French authorities do not take this threat seriously enough, protesters hope that US President Joe Biden’s recognition of the genocide will direct other countries to support Armenia. >> Read also on France24.com: Who are these Turkish nationalists Gray Wolves walking in France? Emmanuel Macron, said that Azerbaijan was the only Western leaders provoked the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and Turkey to join the war of 2000 Syrian jihadist group blamed for sending mercenaries. But the French president eventually refrained from taking sides, sparking criticism and protests by between 400,000 and 600,000 Armenian diasporas in France, and criticizing him for not doing enough to support Yerevan. “Intellectually, France hundred percent with us, explains Sevag, but now have economic ties with Turkey, or human rights countries or money ülkesi.yüksek police protection the number of those who gathered at this meeting taken under was lower than last year. Associated with the Covidien-19 outbreak health restrictions. The third prison, still officially in force in France, did not affect the determination of the participants. “We Armenians are not involved in aggression. But if we are murdered even in France, we must do something. ”Article translated by Grégoire Sauvage – Click here to read the article in its original form


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