An anti-Armenian demonstration was organized by the Coordination Center of Azerbaijani Associations in Sweden in the square Sergels, Stockholm, on Saturday, April 9. Over 100 people took part in the demonstration. Representatives of local Azerbaijani and Turkish organizations were among the protesters, the Armenian embassy in Sweden said in a statement.
During the demonstration, the vice chairman of the Coordination Center of Turkish Associations in Sweden, Barbaros Leylani, made a speech in Turkish coming up with anti-Armenian and nationalistic statements.
“It is time for uniting the Turkish nation. The Turks will wake up putting an end to the Armenian dogs. Death to the Armenian dogs! Death! Death! I appeal to believers. There is an expression, which says that love toward your motherland is a sign of faith. The motherland should not be given to others. It is time for the Turkish republics to unite, it is high time! Thank you everyone for your presence. By this, we show all the Scandinavian states and Europe that we do not like blood, but we are ready to shed it,” Barbaros Leylani stated.
It is noted that the protesters shouted “Death to the Armenian dogs, death, death, death!” The video can be accessed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LyR6cOdyf8
Leylani’s speeches were widely spread in Sweden, as a result, the reaction of the central media followed. TV4, a local TV channel, presented the video during its evening news program. Swedish MP Fredrik Malm and the chairman of the Coordination Center of Armenian Associations, Karlen Mansuryan, condemned such aggressive statements commenting the demonstration and Leylani’s statements on air. Leylani himself gave a telephone interview reiterating his statements and noting that he had not had a prepared speech and that he had not meant anything of the kind.
It is reported that several dozens of representatives of the Armenian community in Sweden have already contacted the police demanding to bring a criminal case against that person.
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In its turn, the Swiss Göteborgs-Posten http://www.gp.se/nyheter/sverige/tal-p%C3%A5-sergels-torg-d%C3%B6d-%C3%A5t-de-armeniska-hundarna-1.185463 reports that Leylani’s speech caused a stormy reaction and criticism for racist statements. “Instigation against other ethnic groups and calls of murdering them are totally inacceptable. We do not tolerate racism and hatred. We uphold the right of freedom of speech and assembly, but not instigation against other groups,” MP Fredrik Malm said commenting on Leylani’s speech.
The website Dagens Nyheter http://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/starka-reaktioner-pa-turkiskt-tal-om-armeniska-hundar/ reports that according to Simon Sahakyan, the secretary of the Armenian Academic Association in Sweden, Leylani’s statements reflect the Turkish authorities’ position led by the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He reminded the audience of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Turkey and highlighted that this historical fact has already been recognized by many states despite Turkey’s resistance. It is noted that in 2010, the parliament of Sweden also adopted a resolution on the Armenian Genocide.