Religious conflict has intensified in the French city of Lyon. On the evening of Wednesday, October 28, members of the ultranationalist Turkish group, the Gray Wolves, invaded the streets and marched to challenge the Armenian community. They did not hesitate to chant threats towards their rivals: “Allah Akbar!”, “Where are the Armenians?!” and “Fuck Armenia, we’re going to fuck you” could be heard.
According to information from LyonMag, many police officers were present in eastern Lyon in order to avoid any overflow. A hundred police vehicles also arrived in the city center. The group of 150 Turks were “over-excited” individuals according to the Independent Union of Police Commissioners (SICP), which also reported that a national police crew had been attacked.
The Turks finally left the scene before 11 pm. No injuries were reported according to firefighters.
The Turks were demonstrating in response to the blocking of the A7 on the same morning. Pro-Armenia activists had indeed blocked part of the highway around 7:30 am in order to demonstrate for the recognition of the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh – against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan, an ally of Turkey.
Turkish activists had disrupted the rally and clashes quickly broke out. In total, 300 to 400 people were present on site according to information from LyonMag. Four people were reportedly slightly injured. An investigation was opened and a call for witnesses was launched by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes highway CRS.