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Turkish leader's Lebanon visit sparks clashes

Turkish leader's Lebanon visit sparks clashes
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Protesters have clashed with police over Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Lebanon.

The demonstrators are from Lebanon’s Armenian minority and they are furious at the presence of the Turkish premier.

During the First World War, up to one and a half million Armenians were allegedly murdered by the Ottoman Turks, but Turkey has so far refused to acknowledge this.

Former Lebanese Telecommunications Minister Alain Tabourian said: “We also have a big grief with Turkey in that they are not recognising the Armenian genocide, something which is unacceptable after almost 100 years of its occurrence.”

During his two day visit, Turkey has already signed a partnership agreement with Lebanon in a bid to promote free trade between the two countries.

Erdogan praised the commitment and said it would strengthen bilateral relations.

Turkey maintains that the body count in the alleged genocide was exaggerated and that the dead were victims of civil unrest.