Lahmacun or Lamadjo? ‘Pizza war’ breaks out between Turkey and Armenia

Published October 29th, 2016 - 07:00 GMT
The latest culprit behind Middle Eastern diplomatic tensions: a lowly flatbread dish topped with minced meat and vegetables. (Shutterstock)
The latest culprit behind Middle Eastern diplomatic tensions: a lowly flatbread dish topped with minced meat and vegetables. (Shutterstock)

A seemingly inocuous dish has caused a stir in Turkey, after two Armenian restaurants opened in Russia, serving Lamadjo - or Lahmacun, as it's known in Turkish - claiming it as an Armenian food, rather than Turkish, The Independent reported.

Lahmacun/Lamadjo is a thin, round piece of bread, served with a mixture of ground meat, tomatoes, parsley, and spices, then baked.

The restaurant openings have caused an uproar in Turkey, even leading to media coverage explaining why the dish is Turkish, not Armenian.

Relations between Turkey and Armenia are notoriously fraught with tension due to the fact that Turkey refuses to recognize the Armenian Genocide, a series of mass deportations and massacres of ethnic Armenians during the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.

It's not the first time food has caused diplomatic tensions between countries in the region. Turkey was previously outraged when UNESCO recognized "lavash," a thin flatbread, as Armenian in origin. Halloumi cheese, olives, and baklava have also been a source of tension between Turkey and Greece. And Israel notoriously claims hummus, felafel, shakshuka, and other Palestinian dishes as its own.

For what it's worth, Sfiha, another flatbread dish topped with meat - like Lahmacun/Lamadjo - is also served throughout Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine.


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