The Grey Wolves, an anti-Armenian hate group banned in a number of countries, orchestrated the “hunt for Armenians” march on October 28 according to LICRA, a French anti-racism group representing France’s Armenian community.
The neo-Ottoman racist group waved Turkish flags yelling violent threats like, “We are going to kill the Armenians.”
The Grey Wolves, who have a Nazi-like hand salute portraying both ears of a wolf, is a militant Turkish hate group which is active in Western Europe and banned in a number of countries like Austria. Footage of the marches, which took place on Wednesday night, were circulated by Twitter accounts featuring wolf emojis and referencing the neo-Ottoman racists, Bozkurtlar (‘Grey Wolves’ in Turkish).
The intent of the march was to cause fear, intimidation and violence towards French Armenians who say it carried echoes of the Armenian Genocide under the Ottomans Turks that took the lives of 1.5 million members of their families.
The hate march took place in Vienne and Décines-Charpieu, both located near Lyon, a major hub of France’s Armenian community.
As videos spread like wildfire on social media, there were scenes that showed a large crowd waving Turkish flags while chanting anti-Armenian phrases. The footages showed the crowd advancing towards a retreating police car, with explosions heard in the background.
French officials, police, and anti-racism groups all denounced the marches. The anti-racism group LICRA said in a statement that the gatherings amounted to “veritable pogroms against members of the Armenian community” and said the Grey Wolves “must be dissolved.”