BEIRUT, June 15 (AFP) - Several hundred Lebanese Armenians took
part in a demonstration Wednesday at which a Turkish flag was burnt
in protest at a visit by Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
The demonstrators in Bourj Hammoud, an Armenian suburb of
Beirut, shouted slogans against the Ottoman massacre of the
Armenians. Some carried cartoon posters of Erdogan depicting him as
Lebanon is home to the largest Armenian community in the Arab
world, made up of descendants of survivors of the 1915-1917
massacres in Turkey. The community is estimated to number 120,000,
half of what it was before the 1975-1990 civil war.
Several countries have recognized the massacres as genocide -- a
term Turkey fiercely rejects -- and Brussels has urged Ankara to
face its past and expand freedom of speech.
But the Ankara government last month squelched a landmark
conference questioning the official line on the mass killings that
was to have been held at Istanbul's prestigious Bogazici
Erdogan was expected in Beirut later Wednesday for talks with
Lebanese officials and to take part in the Arab Economic Forum.