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Turkish PM's Lebanon Visit Angers Armenians

16 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Beirut today for talks with Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud and parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri.

Shortly after arriving on Wednesday, Erdogan and his wife visited the residence of slain former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to pay condolences to his widow, Nazek. Hariri was killed on 14 February with 20 others in a massive bombing in Beirut.

Earlier on 15 June, several hundred Armenians demonstrated in northern Beirut against Turkey's refusal to recognize what Armenia and several other countries regard as an act of genocide.

Armenians say Ottoman Turks killed up to 1.5 million Armenians in eastern Turkey between 1915 and 1923. Turks claim the number is inflated and that the victims were killed in civil unrest or during deportation to Syria.