No: 258, 1 September 2019, Press Release Regarding Lebanese President Michel Aoun's Address At The Launching Of The Centennial Celebrations Of Lebanon

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 01.09.2019

We condemn in the strongest terms and categorically reject the baseless and biased references made by Michel Aoun, President of Lebanon, in his address at the launching of the centennial celebrations of Lebanon, concerning the Ottoman era as well as his accusation on the alleged use of state terror by the Ottoman Empire in Lebanon.

This extremely unfortunate and irresponsible statement by President Aoun made only a week after the visit of H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Lebanon, does not comply with the friendly relations between the two countries.

The Republic of Turkey takes pride in owning the legacy of the Ottoman Empire. There is no such thing as “state terror” in the history of the Ottoman Empire. Contrary to allegations, the Ottoman era in the Middle East was marked by a long period of stability. This era was a period where different religious and linguistic communities lived in peace and tolerance prevailed. Partitioned into spheres of influence based on Sykes-Picot in the aftermath of World War I, the region has seen no peace since then. The seeds of problems still causing instability today were planted at that time.

It is a tragic manifestation of enthusiasm for colonialism on the part of President Aoun to disregard what happened during the colonial period -which lies at the root of today’s ills- and to attempt to impose responsibility on the Ottoman rule instead by distorting history in delusion. This blind approach does and will not have any place whatsoever in any objective interpretation of history or in the conscience of the peoples of the region.

Akil Öktem Consul General
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