YEREVAN, (AFP) - A group of young Armenians Wednesday booed a Turkish film presented at a local festival and urged spectators to leave the cinema to protest at the screening the day before a key commemoration.
Around 20 members of the radical party Dashnaktsutyun stood and began singing nationalist anti-Turkish songs during the screening which came on the eve of the day of commemoration of the 1915 Ottoman massacres of Armenians, regarded by most Armenians as a genocide. The film, "The Photographer", dealing with Turkish-Kurdish relations, was presented as part of the "Private View" film festival.
"We are opposed to the projection of Turkish films in Armenia and against all Turkish products. It is particularly shameful that they showed this film on the eve of the commemoration of the victims of the genocide" on April 24, a spokesman for the group, Nairi Mkrtchian, told AFP.
The massacres and forced marches of Armenians between 1915 and 1917, during the final years of the Ottoman empire, killed some 1.5 million people, according to Armenians. Ankara puts the figure at between 300,000 and 500,000 and contests the use of the word genocide.