French police used tear gas to disperse a large gathering of dozens of Turkish ultra-nationalists who were chanting anti-Macron and anti-Armenian slogans in Dijon.
A group of 60 or so members of the group, which appeared to include members of the ultra-nationalist Grey Wolves, marched down the streets of the French city chanting slogans like “Terrorist Armenia”, along with various insults directed at French president Emmanuel Macron and chants of “Allahu Akbar.”
The march took place shortly after 8 p.m. in the centre of Dijon along the Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau and in the theatre district, France Info reports.
Social media users shared videos of the march online, with one user’s video showing demonstrators chanting “Allahu Akbar,” being viewed more than 200,000 times in less than 24 hours.
Another video, claiming to be one of the demonstrators, showed participants displaying the Grey Wolves hand gesture and was accompanied by the caption “This evening Dijon was ours” alongside Turkish flag and wolf emojis.
Ce soir Dijon c’était à nous 🐺🐺🇹🇷🇹🇷 pic.twitter.com/6ridgUF9Iy
— Yecüc Mecüc (@GOGETMAGOG) October 29, 2020
Mayor of Dijon François Rebsamen condemned the incident, saying: “The religious slogans are unbearable, while France is in mourning, on the very day of the attack on the Basilica of Nice that claimed the lives of three people and sowed fear. I hope that this kind of demonstration, a real provocation against the Republic, will be banned.”
Gilles Platret, mayor of nearby Chalon-sur-Saône, also commented on the incident, saying: “Communitarianism is gaining ground once again in Dijon, thanks tonight to an identitarian demonstration of the Turks against a background of religious cries, in the city centre. What a pity to see, after the inter-ethnic riots of this summer, this city so gangrenous!”
The inter-ethnic riots of the summer mentioned by Pletret involved Chechens and North Africans who attacked each other after a Chechen teen had been assaulted by North Africans. The situation escalated to the point France had to send elite police units to the city.
Another clip of Chechen versus Algerian fighting yesterday in Dijon. pic.twitter.com/OxnwNYMwHT
— Mike “10ForTheBigGuy” (@Doranimated) June 16, 2020
According to a report from Ouest France, the Dijon demonstration come after police clashed with Turks looking to fight with Armenians earlier in the week.
Turkey is reported to be involved in the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, with Armenia accusing Turkey of sending radical Islamic extremists to the conflict zone from Syria.
Tensions between Turkey and France have also been high in recent days after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed Macron had mental health issues when he announced a crackdown on Islamist groups following the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty by a Muslim refugee.
Turkey’s Erdogan Claims France’s Macron Needs ’Mental' Check over Attitude to Radical Islam https://t.co/BhgC65lC8l
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 25, 2020