In Vienna, Wednesday evening.
On Wednesday, Turkish ultranationalists wanted to do battle with the Armenian community in Isère and the Rhône. Several investigations are open.
As the fighting continues in Nagorno-Karabakh, Wednesday was marked by a series of confrontations in France, between pro-Armenians and pro-Turks around the cities of Vienne and Lyon. A four-step escalation. It all started in the morning with a fight between these groups, during a snail operation for peace. au Haut-Karabakh, on the A7, towards Vienne (Isère). Appraisal: four injured including one hit with a hammer. If the course of events is still unclear, an investigation is opened for violence with weapons and in a meeting, according to Audrey Quey, the prosecutor of Vienna, questioned by Release.
In the afternoon, a gathering of the Turkish community starts near the hospital in Vienna. In the early evening, a raid of more than 200 people swept through the city, waving red flags with the star and moon or using mortar fire. “Where are the Armenians?” chant some on videos that have gone viral.
Between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., the tension rises a notch. About a hundred people of Turkish origin move to Décines, the “little Armenia” of the Lyon metropolitan area, about fifty kilometers away. According to several sources, demonstrators wore insignia of the Gray Wolves, a small Turkish ultra-nationalist group, pro-Erdogan, with violent methods. One way to sow terror in this city where part of the Armenian diaspora settled after the genocide of 1915.
“Hints of pogroms”
This violence is taking place against a backdrop of war in Nagorno-Karabakh. This area, disputed between Armenia and Azerbaijan since it declared itself independent in 1991, has again been in the grip of armed conflict since September. Turkey supports Azerbaijan.
“I am 58 years old and I have seen demonstrations of the Gray Wolves, especially when the law of recognition of the Armenian genocide was passed in 2001. But never demonstrations with the whiff of pogroms like that”, deplores Michaël Cazarian, a pillar of the community and president of the newspaper France-Armenia. According to the national police, “Several hundred hostile individuals were checked, escorted and then escorted back to their homes”. In total, 65 people were fined in Décines but for this sole reason: non-compliance with the curfew. “They came to Décines to” break Armenian “according to their words, says Raffi Tanzilli, co-president of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF). They must be put out of harm’s way. There will be complaints. ”
“The hunt for Armenians has no place in the Republic”, insists the deputy of the constituency, Danièle Cazarian (LREM). Just returned from a parliamentary mission in Armenia, a country bordering Nagorno-Karabakh where she met war wounded, she is worried to see this conflict transposed in her city. “This kind of punitive expedition, to sow hatred and terror, it is intolerable”, she gets carried away.
“Attempts at intimidation and hostile community actions have no place in our Republic”, reacted the prefecture of the Rhône. For its part, the Lyon public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation for participation in a group with a view to committing violence or degradation. From now on, the Armenian community is awaiting action from the Ministry of the Interior: the dissolution of the Gray Wolves.