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Attacker removes cross from outside of an Armenian church in Istanbul

A cross was removed from an Armenian church in Istanbul's Kuzguncuk neighbourhood.


On the 23rd of May, an unidentified person vandalised the Surp Krikor Lusaroviç Armenian Church in Üsküdar district in Istanbul. 

The individual can be seen on security camera footage attempting to climb over the fence. Later, the cross that was hanging on the door of the church was found lying on the ground.

According to the Turkish Hürriyet Daily News, church management has lodged a criminal complaint about the incident and have since placed the cross back in its place.

Garo Paylan, a Turkish-Armenian lawmaker for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), condemned the incident, calling it a hate crime.

“Attacks continue on our churches. The cross of our Surp Krikor Lusaroviç Armenian Church was removed and thrown away. Hate speech delivered by the ruling power normalises hate crimes,” he wrote in a tweet.

Recently, besides Armenians, other religious communities have also been the target of hate speech. In May, the Turkish Gerçek Hayat magazine has published a special 176-page edition which targeted leading members of religious minorities in Turkey.

They have been accused of supporting the FETÖ, an acronym that stands for Organisation of Gülenista Terror (expression with which the Turkish pro-government organs indicate the Hizmet association of the Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen).

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