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Armenian protesters trap Turkish Ambassador in Beirut theater

Turkey’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Suleiman Inan Oz Yildiz, was temporarily trapped inside a Beirut movie theater, as Armenian demonstrators held a protest outside, reported the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper.

Approximately 60 members of the Armenian Youth Federation of Lebanon and the Zavarian Student Association held a demonstration at the entrance of ABC Grand Cinema in Ashrafieh, where Yildiz was attending a screening of “Son Mektup.”

The film, a Turkish love story, is set during the Battle of Gallipoli, and tells the story of the Ottoman Empire’s first pilot, Salih Ekrem.

According to the report, protestors yelled out slogans such as “Genocide,” “Truth will triumph” and “We remember,” and held banners reading “Recognize the crime of the century.” Security forces were brought in to block the entrance of the theater to prevent patrons from clashing with protesters.

The protest was organized as a result of Turkey’s efforts to sway public attention away from the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by focusing on the Battle of Gallipoli.

“Here we are in Beirut today witnessing a new Turkish opportunist bid through the showing of a propaganda film in Lebanese movie theaters,” the Armenian Youth Federation  said in a statement, according to Naharnet. 

The film “narrates a bloody and oppressive phase of the Ottoman history,” the statement said.

It also slammed the employees of the “ominous Turkish embassy and those who work in its ‘black rooms’.”

“The step might seem innocent on the surface but its core and objectives are full of inherent Turkish malevolence.”

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