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Image of the sign Image Credit: Supplied

Beirut: A number of angry citizens posted a huge billboard with the phrase ‘go home and stay away’ written in Arabic at the Turkish Embassy’s entrance in Lebanon Thursday morning.

The incident happened shortly after sunrise on Thursday in Al Rabieh area, when unidentified citizens hung the huge red billboard which displayed the Turkish flag and a skull drawn in the shape of a crescent.

The anonymous culprits are believed to have hung the billboard in a purported act of condemnation and criticism to the recent political stance that the Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed amidst a controversial war of words between the two countries.

During his speech in launching the Centennial celebrations of the Greater Lebanon, President Michel Aoun referred to violence and killing during the Ottoman occupation of what became the state of Lebanon.

Aoun referred to the ‘state terror practiced by the Ottomans against the Lebanese, especially during World War I’.

On Sunday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a response in which it accused Aoun’s speech of being “baseless and biased” and denied any “terror” to have taken place during the Ottoman rule.

In a counter response, the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants summoned the Turkish ambassador in Beirut to ask for clarifications about his country’s statement and for clear correction of the mistake made by the Turkish side to avoid misunderstanding and in preservation of the special bilateral ties.

The Arabic-written slogan is believed to have been inpsired from a slogan that was used in a recent speech by Hezbollah’s General Secretary Hassan Nasrallah when he addressed Israelis.

Nasrallah’s slogan [rooho ndobo] trended on Twitter for few days.

Gulf News contacted the Turkish Embassy several times for a comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.