“You are finish” on one of the doors

Another Armenian Church Vandalized with Hate Graffiti in Turkey


ISTANBUL (Combined Sources) — Another Armenian church in Istanbul, Turkey, has been vandalized with anti-Armenian graffiti, the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople announced on Facebook.

Vandals spray painted hate messages in English and Arabic on the exterior wall of the Surp Hreshdagabet Armenian Church in the neighborhood of Balat on Saturday, February 23.

The local council members reported the matter to Archbishop Aram Ateshian as well as the local police.

Other graffiti has been covered up

This is not the first incident in which Armenian institutions have been the target of graffiti and vandalism in Istanbul in recent years.

Only last week, the walls of the Armenian Surp Astvadzadzin Church in Istanbul’s Zeinlink district were covered with hate graffiti.

In April 2018 photos of graffiti reading “This homeland is ours” spray-painted on the exterior wall of the Armenian Surp Takavor Church and a pile of trash was dumped in front of the church’s door began.

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In 2016, the exterior walls of the Bomonti Mkhitarian Armenian School of Istanbul were vandalized with anti-Armenian graffiti reading “One night, we suddenly will be in Karabakh.”

The spray-painted messages included the Turkish for “You are finished.”

The Armenian patriarchate conveyed video footage of the incident to the police.

A recent report by a Protestant association had suggested that Christians living in Turkey were worried about the increasing hate speech against their communities.

Many Christian families reportedly had to leave the country due to intensified campaigns on traditional and social media portraying Christians as spies and being aligned with terrorist groups.

Minority Foundations Representative Moris Levi condemned the attack, according to the Turkish news site Sendika.org.

“These acts are a clear hate crime and our communities are still being subjected to such attacks,” Levi said.

Armenian opposition lawmaker Garo Paylan posted pictures of the graffiti on Twitter and said authorities should shed light on the people behind the attack.

“A hate crime has been committed against Balat Surp Hreshdagabed Armenian Church. Hate crimes against churches and synagogues take place several times every year. Not only the perpetrators but the powers behind (the attacks) should be addressed. Above all, hate-generating policies should be ended,” said Paylan.

Armenian writer Murad Mıhçı also commented on the attack on Twitter. Sharing the images of the church, Mıhçı said: “The walls and the door of the Balat Surp Armenian Church…its entrance was built with the rocks from the historical church in İznik (Nicaea), where the council met. The church opens one day a year. It is believed to heal people. Just as they say, ‘ARE YOU FINISH?’, there are no local people left. The ‘New Turkey.'”

(Reports from Panorama.am, Turkish Minute, and Ahval were used to compile this report.)

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