Dozens of French-Turks on Oct. 28 stormed Armenian neighborhoods in Lyon, chanting Islamist and nationalist slogans during a lockdown imposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.
"Allahu Akbar!", which means God is Great, was among the slogans chanted by the mob of around 150 people who took to the streets in Décines, a commune in the vicinity of Lyon, as well as "Where are you the Armenians?", "Fuck Armenia, we will fuck you!" and "It’s Turkey here!"
The mob was seen to be carrying Turkish flags.
Following the incident, regional authorities said that police dispersed the "illegal gathering that was organized by the Turkish community to target the Armenian community."
"Peace and order was restored," it said early on Oct. 29.
À la demande du préfet, les forces de l’ordre sont intervenues à Décines pour rétablir l'ordre suite à un regroupement illégal d’individus issus de la communauté turque, désirant ostensiblement en découdre avec des personnes d’origine arménienne. Le calme est revenu. 1/2— Préfet de région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes et du Rhône (@prefetrhone) October 28, 2020
The incident comes after a fight broke out between members of the Turkish and Armenian diasporas earlier on Oct. 28 amid a protest in defense of Armenia in the clashes with Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh on a national highway connecting the French cities of Lyon and Valence. Injuries were reported.
Ça soir, à #Vienne, des #Turcs mènent une expédition punitive à la recherche d’#Armeniens, dans la ville.— Commissaires de police - SICP (@SICPCommissaire) October 28, 2020
Ils croisent et agressent un équipage de la @PoliceNat38.
Nos collègues ont encore fait preuve de sang-froid et de courage face à 150 individus surexcités.#confinement pic.twitter.com/WYizppJHwk
Turkey is a staunch supporter of Azerbaijan and is said to have sent Syrian rebels to fight against Armenia.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev recently said that Baku is ready to use Turkish F-16s deployed in the country in case of a "foreign attack."
The pro-Azerbaijan sentiment is also running high in Turkey, with nationalist groups staging demonstrations in Armenian neighborhoods of Istanbul with Azeri flags.
In September, Ahmet Çetin, a 23-year-old French-Turk was tried in France for “inciting hatred” after publishing a video on Instagram in which he asked the Turkish government “to provide him with a weapon and 2,000 euros” and that “he would do what is necessary across France.”
Ce soir, les fascistes turcs ont décidé de faire la chasse aux Arméniens de France.— Bahar Kimyongür (@Kimyongur) October 28, 2020
Ils circulent en convoi. Après avoir défilé à Décines, ils se sont rendus à Vienne.pic.twitter.com/jShIyEyX1L
Before the most recent clashes erupted on Sept. 27 between Baku and Yerevan, members of the Armenian diaspora staged a protest in Décines to voice their support for Nagorno-Karabakh in July when tensions between the countries were also running high.
During the said protest on July 24, Çetin led a counter-protest alongside other members of the Turkish diaspora which had turned violent.
Çetin, who was involved in the local Justice and Equality Party (PEJ), which some say is close to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), was sentenced to a deferred prison sentence of five years, a 2,000 euro fine and is banned from being elected to a political post for a period of five years.Aliyev threatens to use Turkish F-16s in case of 'external attack on Azerbaijan'