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Armenians mark remembrance day with Beirut march

  |   April 24, 2013 at 12:02 PM
BEIRUT, Lebanon, April 24 (UPI) -- More than 10,000 Armenians took to the streets of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday to mark the 98th anniversary of the deaths of 1.5 million of their ancestors.

Lebanese of Armenian origin and their supporters called on Turkey to finally recognize the genocide that took place at the hands of the Ottomans in 1915, The Daily Star of Lebanon reported.

"Turkey: It's time for recognition and repatriation," read one of the signs at the demonstration.

"Erdogan Don't Forget: Eastern Turkey is Western Armenia," read another banner.

The Armenians' claim that genocide occurred in eastern Turkey between 1915 and 1923 has not been officially recognized by the United States, Today's Zaman reported.

President Obama's description of the 1915 events Wednesday as "Meds Yeghern," which means "Great Calamity" in Armenian drew a rebuff from both Turkey and the Armenian population.

Turkey described the U.S. president's wording as one-sided while Armenians complained he failed to label the events as genocide.

As a candidate, Obama repeatedly vowed to recognize the Armenian "genocide" once he was in office.

He failed to do so this year on Armenia Remembrance Day.

Instead, the president called it "one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century."

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