Tuesday, April 27, 2021

'Exit NATO!': Turks Protest US Troops at Incirlik Base Amid Armenian Genocide Row - FARS

(FNA)- Demonstrators gathered outside Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, where an American contingent is housed, to demand the authorities close the military facility and expel the troops in response to Washington's decision to recognize the Armenian genocide last weekend.

US President Joe Biden released a statement in which he officially recognised the killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. Such descriptions of those events have always been met with harsh criticism by respective Turkish governments, who reject the occurrence of genocide, RIA Novosti reported.

The protest was organised by a local wing of the Youth Union of Turkey (TGB), who call Biden's recognition of the genocide "illegal and legally void".

The demonstrators carried Turkish flags and banners saying "exit NATO – the enemy of Ataturk", "Close Incirlik for the US in response to lies about genocide", and "No to NATO. This is our land!"

Biden's decision has been harshly condemned by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as "groundless" and "disappointing". He stated that the move will have a "destructive impact" on US-Turkish ties, but did not elaborate on the repercussions.

Ankara describes the deportation and the deaths of Armenians in that historic period as the Ottoman Empire's response to an Armenian rebellion and insists the government never ordered the systematic murder of the community.

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