ANKARA — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said anti-Armenian banners unfurled during an Istanbul rally held on Feb. 26 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre reflect the feeling of some “raving racists,” not those of the Turkish people, Today’s Zaman reports.
“These banners do not reflect the feelings of Turkey but those of a few raving racists. … Necessary [legal] action has already been taken. But it is unjust to overshadow the rally marking the massacre by a few worthless banners. Nobody has the right to damage the image of Turkey based on these exceptional scenes,” Erdogan said.
A group of protesters held banners and chanted racist slogans against Armenians during the rally, which organizers said, cast a shadow over the peaceful nature of the event. The slogans caused much outrage among the Turkish public.
A statement released by the Turkish Interior Ministry on Wednesday said it is impossible to justify “some slogans and banners” during the rally, referring to the offensive banners. The statement added that legal proceedings have been launched to find these people and groups, adding that the Istanbul Governor’s Office is working to identify these people.