84-Year-Old Armenian Woman Brutally Murdered in Istanbul
Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:40 AM
By Tuba Candar
16:23, January 29, 2013
Samatya is one those neighbourhoods of Istanbul inhabited by Armenians
and witnessed a series of atrocities that they have been targeted
throughout the last month. The bilingual (Armenian and Turkish)
weekly journal Agos pioneered the media in bringing the aggressive
acts against Armenians in Samatya to the public attention.
Agos is founded in 1996 by Hrant Dink, the journalist that has been
the ardent defender of Armenian minority rights and stood against
the discriminatory policies of the Turkish state. Following his
brutal assassination on 19 January 2007, Agos, remained true to his
intellectual legacy and editorial tradition, in continuing with
determination to bring the problems of the intimidated Armenian
community to the attention of the public opinion.
As the aggressive acts against aged Armenian women perpetuated,
liberal-democratic daily newspapers such as Taraf and Radikal, started
to give large coverage to the Samatya events, following suit of Agos.
Particularly on January 22, when Sultan Aykar, an old Armenian lady
is attacked at her ground floor apartment and another anonymous old
Armenian lady was tried to be kidnapped, the Samatya events finally
captured the attention of the mainstream media like the daily Milliyet
which focused on the developments in depth and gave equally a wide
coverage. While the atrocities in Samatya are presented to the public
knowledge through full page interviews conducted with the inhabitants
of the neighbourhood, the commentators carried the issue to the
First in the chain of aggressive acts committed against the Armenian
inhabitants of Samatya had been the beating at the street of an
Armenian lady who is 87 year of age in the beginning of December 2012.
That was followed at the end of the month, on December the 28th when
Maritsa Kucuk, an Armenian old lady was brutally murdered. The victims
have something in common that they are people of very modest incomes.
That fact strengthens the impression, that as opposed what initially
it was, the crimes perpetrated has nothing to do with the intention of
robbery. One other common aspect was that all the women involved were
regular church-visitors and the aggressive acts were committed when
they were returning home from the church in the neighborhood. All
these provided certain evidence that they have been followed by
their aggressors. Devouring real estate which has been initially and
allegedly put forward as the main reason behind the aggressive acts
in Samatya proved to be far from convincing.
As the atrocities found a wide coverage in the main stream media, the
statement of the Governor of Istanbul who interpreted the events as
"individual" acts, similarly, considered as unconvincing. Those who
recall the first official statements on the assassination of Hrant
Dink, who six years ago also on a January day slaine on the pavement
in front his newspaper Agos, will not be satisfied with such an
interpretation. Those official statements had claimed that the murder
of Hrant Dink was not an organized crime, but an "individual act",
committed with no political connection to it.
As a matter of fact, we witness in the last couple of days that the
civil society is getting mobilized. In two separate demonstrations,
thousands of people marched with slogans reflecting the awareness of
the society against those perpetrated crimes against the Armenians.
The slogans read, "Do not touch to my Armenian neighbour", "I don't
let my sister and brother to be touched", "We are one with the Armenian
people", No passage to racism".
Because we do not have sufficient information yet, I do not want to
speculate on by whom the aggressive acts are done and why now. These
events need a serious and thorough inquiry.
I have always said and keep on saying the following: The day Hrant
fell on the pavement of his newspaper in daylight, before the eyes
of us all, with his dead body, he formed a bridge linking 1915 with
the present day. From that moment on, he kept telling us more than he
did while he was alive. Those who wanted to silence him and spared
from him the justice cannot prevent his voice to resonate even more
strongly and higher. The media is no longer like the former, neither
the civil society, nor the Armenian community is like the former
intimidated one! Let me conclude by a tweet of an Armenian citizen
circulated at the social media: "Let it be known that we opened our
eyes in Samatya and will close them in Samatya. Nobody will be able
to send us from there!"
Born in 1948, Tuba Candar completed her education in the United
States after secondary schooling in Austria High School in Turkey. She
graduated from the International Relations Department of the Ankara
University Faculty of Political Science. She lived in Germany
following March 12 military coup. Returning to Turkey, she became
the editor-in-chief of "Bizim Almanca" magazine under Cumhuriyet daily.
She also worked as an editor at "Gergedan" magazine. At Yeni
Yuzyýl daily, she wrote culture and arts and travel pieces. She
had a "Portraits" column in "Gazete Pazar." Her first book about
the life of Mualla Eyubýðlu Anhegger, "Hitit Guneþi" (Hitite Sun),
was in 2003. In 2007, she had "Murat Belge Bir Hayat" (Murat Belge
A Life). Her latest book, "Hrant" came out on the birthday of Hrant
Dink on Sept. 15 in 2010.
Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:47 AM
17:20 ~U 29.01.13
Kurdish Peace and Democracy party representatives in the Turkish
parliament condemned the violence against ethnic Armenian women in
the Istanbul Samatya district.
Party's deputy chairman Gultan Kicanak reminded that five women were
attacked in the district, one of them was killed, the others injured.
"The periodicity of this attacks and how they occur make it clear
that these are hatred crimes. These attacks were manifestations of
racism and hatred," she said.
Kicanak said during one of the attacks the criminal left money on
the table of the victim which proves that the crime was not for
"We know how Armenians were annihilated, massacred. It is still the
aching wound for Turkey. Now not ensuring their security is the shame
of this country. These attacks continue for already second month but
neither police nor government makes any comments. It is shameful for
the country," she said.
Gultan Kicanak also noted that their party condemn the attacks and
expresses its support to the Armenian compatriots, saying they are
Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:53 AM
28 January 2013, Monday
ORHAN KEMAL CENGÝZ
On Monday when I was turning the pages of the Taraf daily, I came
across this very striking headline, "I wish I wasn't Armenian." These
are the words of an old Armenian lady whom the Taraf correspondent
called Aunt Seta. Ms. Seta is a close friend of the four Armenian
women who were attacked in the Samatya neighborhood of Ýstanbul
recently. One of the ladies died while the others were seriously
injured. No suspect has been caught yet. Some argue that these ladies,
all of whom were over 80 and living alone, were attacked by thieves
whose only intentions were to steal their valuables.
Well, as I discussed in my earlier column, even if the intent of the
attackers was robbery, this does not change the fact that there is an
obvious racial hatred behind these assaults. If their only purpose was
to steal a few items from these old ladies they could easily
incapacitate the women without the brutality. But instead they
brutally beat and stabbed these women. And we have additional
information provided by the neighbors, including Ms. Seta, who said
that the assaulted Armenian women were actually quite poor. There are
of course other theories circulating currently. One of them claims
that the attackers intend to scare Armenians away from Samatya in
order to seize their properties. Whatever financial or material gains
may appear to be behind these attacks, I do not think they eradicate
the racial hatred apparent in their execution.
And it seems to me that these attacks have already achieved a lot. As
you can see from the words of Ms. Seta, they have managed to plant
profound hopelessness in Armenians and open up some old wounds which
might not have healed completely.
Maybe we need to look at the broader picture to gain a wider
perspective on these recent attacks against Armenians in Ýstanbul.
Very recently a Greek church in Ýstanbul was stoned by "unknown"
people. Then, the police revealed an extremely detailed assassination
plan against one of the pastors of the Ýzmit Protestant Church. The
police announced that they caught a dozen suspects who appear to have
been preparing for this attack for months. They are from different
cities. Amongst them are women and some of them penetrated the church
disguised as newly converted Christians. This assassination plan seems
very professional and organized to me.
There was another concerning development in Ýstanbul very recently as
well. An Armenian intellectual, who does not want to reveal his
identity, told me that he barely managed to escape unscathed from a
planned attack by two youngsters who were sent by an ultranationalist
who was angry with some of the words that this Armenian intellectual
had made on TV.
Well, in a country like Turkey, if several things as I mentioned
happens in a matter of weeks, we should have every reason to believe
that they are organized and somehow connected to each other.
Apparently, some circles are frantically trying to create an
atmosphere of terror for non-Muslims in Turkey. When there was a
comparable level of activities against non-Muslims in 2006 and 2007,
they ended up in disaster with a string of murders of Christians:
Father Andrea Santoro in Trabzon, Hrant Dink in Ýstanbul and three
Christians in Malatya were killed.
Since the beginning of the Ergenekon investigation in 2007, we have
not witnessed such kinds of attacks against non-Muslims. Some cells
seemed to have been reactivated to give Christians a hard time once
again. I really hope that officials will grasp the severity and
gravity of the situation soon and act quickly in order to bring the
attackers and the people behind them to justice. This situation is
quite serious and alarming!
Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:44 PM
January 30, 2013 - 13:44 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Amnesty International calls on the Turkish authorities to carry out a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the series of attacks on elderly Armenian women in Istanbul.
In the last two months, four attacks, one of them fatal, took place in Samatya an area historically inhabited by Armenians in central Istanbul. All four women are Turkish citizens of Armenian origin.
“The Turkish authorities have an obligation to investigate any alleged racist and/or religious bias behind the perpetration of these crimes. A failure to do so may amount to a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights, ratified by Turkey, and the prohibition of discrimination set forth by it.
Hate crimes constitute a serious form of discrimination. State authorities have not only to refrain from discriminating themselves but also exercise due diligence to prevent and combat discrimination from private parties.
It is regrettable that Turkish legislation does not foresee any legislative and policy measures ensuring that hate motives are systematically and thoroughly investigated and duly taken into account in the prosecution and sentencing.
Police insist that they are investigating the cases thoroughly. However, Amnesty International is concerned at public statements made by the authorities discounting the possibility of a racist motivation to the attacks,” AI statement said.
Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:47 AM
SOCIETY | 30.01.13 | 13:07
By GAYANE ABRAHAMYAN
Several assaults against Armenians in Turkey over the past month have
raised concerns and stirred a wave of outrage not only among Armenians,
but also Turkish human rights advocates, who held an act of protest
Sunday calling for "consistency in investigating the assaults and
murders on ethnic grounds".
Pro-Kurdish member of the Turkish parliament, representative of Peace
and Democracy party Sebahat Tuncel and independent MP, member of the
Commission on Human Rights Ertugrul Kurkcu declared during the protest
that the assaults were hate crimes motivated by strong anti-Armenian
sentiments and that "the police is at fault for their inertness".
On December 28, in her home at Istanbul's Samatia district largely
populated by Armenians, 85-year-old Maritsa Kucuk was brutally
murdered. Her son's testimony claims that the perpetrators had "carved"
a cross with a knife on the old woman's chest.
Some ten days earlier in the same district an 87-year-old native
Armenian woman, Turfanda Ashik was assaulted and brutally beaten.
On January 6 (Armenian Christmas), another native Armenian woman
escaped an attempted assault on her way to church. With her own
resistance and some support from aside she managed to find refuge in
On January 22, again at Samatia district, near his house 83-year-old
Sultan Aykar became a victim of assault and lost vision in one eye
caused by beating.
Turkish human rights advocates are convinced that the crimes are of
"racist anti-Armenian character", however it is unclear yet whether
the "racist sentiments" are against Armenians only, or Christians
Editor of the Armenian version of Istanbul-based Agos daily Bagrat
Estukian believes "these are hate crimes" as a reaction prior to the
100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide to be marked in 2015.
The Istanbul branch of Turkey's Human Rights Association has published
a separate report in which several Samatia residents stress that they
are "afraid" and that for as long as "the word 'Armenian' is used as
a swear word, such incidents will keep happening".
By various census results there are 50,000-60,000 Armenians living
in Turkey today, the majority of them in Istanbul; Armenians there
have a patriarchy, 16 schools, more than 30 churches, 3 newspapers
(one of them 100-years-old) and two hospitals.
Despite the constant fear and atmosphere of ethnic discrimination,
the Armenian community of Turkey keeps staying in what they call their
"Such problems have always existed, but the atmosphere of fear now
is really tangible," Istanbul-based Heriknaz Avagian, initiator and
principle of the special Armenian school for the children of illegal
immigrants, told ArmeniaNow.
The year of 2007 became a watershed in the lives of Istanbul-Armenians,
when editor-in-chief of Agos daily Hrant Dink was assassinated near
As Turkish Armenian Arus Yumul, sociology professor and head of chair
at one of Istanbul's biggest universities (around 12,000 students),
explains "Dink's murder awakened not only us Armenians, but also
Turks, who started showing more interest in the dark pages of their
history," however this "awakening of consciousness" has also had
Months after Dink's murder Istanbul's St Astvatsatsin (Holy Virgin)
church suffered an armed attack when a gunman opened fire during
liturgy, luckily with no casualties.
In 2011, on April 24 - Remembrance Day for the victims of the Armenian
Genocide - in the army a Turkish soldier shot dead his fellow private
Sevag Sahin Balikci. On the day of the funeral his parents said it
was an accident, but during the trial, the last hearing of which
took place on January 25, they declared that "Sevak was murdered for
being Armenian, that day one Armenian had to be killed, it had been
During the same 2011 a taxi driver physically abused an Armenian woman:
he called her an "infidel", beat her and threw out of his car.
After this case the police stated that it was a matter of minutes
to take the driver into custody, because both the vehicle number and
the taxi service were known. More than a year has passed and nobody
has been held accountable.
These recent cases have had strong reaction in Armenia, some even
drew parallels with the murder of Kurdish women in France during
the same period, committed in the highlight of negotiations with
However, expert in Turkish studies Ruben Safrastyan, head of the
Institute of Eastern Studies at the National Academy of Sciences,
believes that the assaults are anti-Christian rather than
"The Turkish society is undergoing a period of change, on the one hand
it is the desire for growing awareness about the Genocide among some
circles, on the other it is the extremist pro-religious, pro-Islamic
sentiments growing deeper and as counter-effect the anti-Christian
and anti-Armenian wave is getting bigger," says Safrastyan, adding
that the government policy is creating fertile soil for all of this.
Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:31 AM
January 30, 2013
Capitol Hill Silent Protest Part of National "Stain of Denial" Campus
Campaign Raising Awareness about the Armenian Genocide and Legacy
WASHINGTON-Armenian Student Association (ASA) members from the
across the U.S. have teamed up with the Washington, DC Armenian Youth
Federation (AYF) Ani chapter and local youth in organizing a silent
protest on Capitol Hill this week to urge Congress to condemn a series
of vicious hate crimes perpetrated against elderly Armenian women in
Istanbul, Turkey and to call on U.S. leaders to end Turkey's gag rule
on proper U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.
The protest will be held in front of the Senate Dirksen Office
Building, on Constitution Ave., from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 31 The
protest will be held in front of the Senate Dirksen Office Building,
on Constitution Ave., from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 31, coinciding
with the nationwide "Stain of Denial" campus protests organized by the
All-ASA and supported by the AYF and ARF Shant Student organizations.
"The growing number of hate crimes against Armenians, and particularly
women, in Turkey is extremely disturbing. In only the past two
months more than four Armenians were attacked and killed in Istanbul,
once again bringing to light the strain of deeply rooted hatred and
intolerance in Turkish society that is encouraged by the government and
its continued policy of genocide denial," explained Knarik Gasparyan,
Public Relations Director of the UCLA Armenian Students Association,
in Washington DC for a semester-long internship.
Gasparyan is referring to four widely publicized attacks against
elderly Armenian women, one fatal, which have taken place over the
past two months, in the historically Armenian-inhabited neighborhood
of Samatya, in central Istanbul. On Dec. 28, an 85-year-old Armenian
woman was repeatedly stabbed and killed in her home, with assailants
carving a cross on her chest. Other attacks include the Nov. 2012
beating of an 87-year-old Armenian woman, and a failed attempt to
abduct an elderly Armenian woman on Jan. 6. According to Turkish
news outlet, Bianet, the latest incident took place on Jan. 22,
when 83-year-old Sultan Aykar was attacked and repeatedly kicked
until neighbors heard her screams and rushed to assist her. Aykar
lost sight in one eye because of the brutal beating.
The beatings sparked a sharp response from Amnesty International
earlier this week, which called on "Turkish authorities to carry
out a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the series
of attacks on elderly Armenian women in Istanbul." The January 28th
statement stressed that "Hate crimes constitute a serious form of
discrimination... It is regrettable that Turkish legislation does
not foresee any legislative and policy measures ensuring that hate
motives are systematically and thoroughly investigated and duly taken
into account in the prosecution and sentencing."
Questions regarding a government cover-up of the attacks abound, as
Turkish authorities attempt to downplay the crimes. "The incident was
inspired by robbery, there were no racial motives. Be sure we will find
the perpetrators. Good night," tweeted Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni
Mutlu to his 100,000 followers. This and similar statements prompted
Amnesty International to express "concern at public statements made by
the authorities discounting the possibility of a racist motivation to
the attacks." Meanwhile, the Turkish Human Rights Association stated
categorically that "the attacks were carried out with racist motives,"
according to a January 28th Economist article, "Turkey's Armenians:
The Ghosts of 1915," referencing the legacy of the Armenian Genocide
and its denial.
"The recent brutal murders and attacks on elderly Armenian women in
Istanbul once again showed the level of xenophobia and intolerance
within the Turkish society," explained Bloomfield College student
Armen Sahakyan. "The events also serve as a sober reminder for us
that the Armenian Genocide issue is not yet resolved and we should
work ever harder to stand up to Turkey's denial of that crime and
secure the return of what rightfully belongs to the Armenian nation."
Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:29 PM
Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:07 PM
The Turkish state is unable to ensure the security of its citizens,
Turkologist Levon Hovsepian said at a meeting with reporters today.
In his words, "Turkish authorities have not yet expressed their
opinion about the Samatia events; I would call their silence a silent
He said there can hardly be personal motives behind those murders,
they are ethnically motivated.
Levon Hovsepian noted that Turkey should respond to the Samatia events
as rapidly as possible, otherwise it is not ruled out that the events
may get out of control.
Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:16 PM
Posted by Aris Nalci on February 1, 2013 in Opinion · 1 Comments· Email · Print
Special for the Armenian Weekly.
Historian Taner Akçam recently told me, “Living in Turkey as an Armenian is an art; the art of survival.” He was right.
<img class="size-medium wp-image-23226" alt="demo 300x199 Behind the Police Lines: The Attacks Against Armenians in Samatya" src="http://www.armenianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/demo-300x199.jpg" width="300" height="199" title="Behind the Police Lines: The Attacks Against Armenians in Samatya" />
Protest against anti-Armenian crimes in Samatya, Istanbul: “We stand together with Armenians, we won’t give way to racism.” (Photo shared on Facebook by Halkların Demokratik Kongresi [HDK])
And only a couple of days later I was in Samatya trying to understand what’s happening there.
Samatya is one of the oldest districts in Istanbul. After the establishment of the Turkish Republic they renamed it Kocamustafa Paşa. But many people still use the old name.
Since Nov. 2012, we are reading reports that there are attacks against elderly Armenians in the neighborhood. In December, Marissa Kuchuk was killed during one of these attacks. Several attacks followed.
Even the Armenian community doesn’t know the exact number of the attacks, because Armenians are frightened to even say that they were attacked. If there is no considerable harm, they don’t want to talk about it. This silence confuses the public and allows the police and others to argue that the attacks are not hate crimes.
Now let’s dig deeper, reminding ourselves that as of Jan. 31, the police hasn’t made a single arrest.
The Armenian NGO ‘Nor Zartonk’ has been following these attacks and its representative, Sayat Tekir, told me on our TV show (IMC-GAMURC) that in their report dated Nov. 2012, they predicted a rise in hate crimes against Armenians.
Around the same time, Göksel Gülbey, president of ASIMDER (The Association for fighting against Armenian Claims) was sharing the names and addresses of Armenian schools in Istanbul on his Twitter and Facebook accounts, without providing additional commentary. He was essentially making these schools targets of attacks.
Soon thereafter, a Turkish teacher at the Aramyan Unciyan Armenian School was murdered in his house not far from the school. Yet no one investigated the president of ASIMDER. The latter even complained that he was threatened by Armenians and asked for protection from the government.
Now let’s return to the attacks in Samatya.
The Aksaray Police Department, under the jurisdiction of which is Samatya, told Human Rights Association, Istanbul branch representatives on Jan. 23 that the attacks weren’t hate crimes. The police also pointed to the increased police presence in the neighborhood.
Commenting on the most recent attack, which took place on Jan. 23, the police argued that it took place when the policemen in the area were on a lunch break… Let’s assume this statement is true. Doesn’t it mean that the assailants knew about the police department’s shifts, and that these attacks were certainly well organized?
In turn, Istanbul’s Mayor announced during a press conference on Jan. 25 that the city would broaden the investigation to include two other attacks that have occurred in the Sisli and Fatih neighborhoods. But “fortunately” those two other attacks were against two Turkish old women. Essentially, the mayor had figured out a way to argue that the attacks were not racially motivated.
So why are the police and the mayor insisting that these attacks are random and are not hate crimes against Armenians?
Because if the attacks are organized and are targeting Armenians, it means that nationalism continues to be on the rise in this country. It means that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has failed to address this problem.
It also means that while the AKP was busy with the deep state organization Ergenekon, it didn’t give enough importance to the KAFES operation, which was a part of Ergenekon, and targeted Turkey’s Armenians specifically.
The names of many who worked for the Turkish Armenian weekly newspaper Agos were on the murder list of Kafes. They also sent threatening letters to Armenian schools in Istanbul.
It would have been much more effective if the Mayor made a statement in support of the Armenian community. This simple gesture would have calmed the community in Samatya a little.
Armenians in Istanbul want to believe that these attacks were not targeting them specifically. But they also remember what happened in 1915, 1942, and 1955…
And it seems that such attacks or threats are going to continue until 2015, the centennial of the genocide. And the upcoming elections won’t help either, because it’s possible that the government will look the other way to win nationalist votes.
Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:24 AM
Writer, director, producer, and translator
Posted: 01/31/2013 2:12 pm
Turkey , Armenian Genocide , Adiyaman , Alevis , Armenians , Assyrians
, Constantinople , Istanbul , Kurds , Samatya , Shabin-Karahisar ,
There are few things more deleterious to human peace and mutual
understanding than knee-jerk reactionary nationalism or ethnic
generalizations. That being said, I have been shocked by the attacks
in the past few weeks that have been perpetrated in the Samatya
neighborhood of Istanbul on elderly Armenian women, one of them as she
was on her way to church. Is this the increasingly tolerant Turkey
that we keep reading about in the press and in white papers at
conferences around the world? Granted, this may be the work of one
isolated crazed killer; its effects are nonetheless chilling.
Although the Turkish police has apparently sent countless plainclothes
officers to parole the Samatya area, not enough has been done to decry
these cowardly attacks or to publicize them in the Turkish press --
the Armenian-Turkish publication Agos notwithstanding. What kind of a
coward attacks eighty- and ninety-year-old women on their way to
church, stabbing them to death in one case and beating another
senseless in the other? Coming as this does on the heels of the sixth
anniversary of Turkish-Amenian journalist and human rights activist
Hrant Dink's assassination in front of Agos headquarters, these
attacks are particularly alarming. And given the history of
subjugation and persecution that Christians faced during the Ottoman
Empire and the upcoming 100th memorial of the Armenian genocide of
1915 -- which also saw the annihilation of Turkey's Assyrians and
Pontic Greek populations -- these aggressions are particularly
shameless. The Armenian community of Istanbul, called Bolsahays in
Armenian, are understandably alarmed and cowed. As a result they have
stayed largely silent about these latest attacks on their community.
But they shouldn't stay silent. The Bolsahays must not let the forces
of xenophobia and hatred win out. They should form neighborhood
watches and escort their elderly to and from market and church if
necessary. Along with the equally persecuted Alevi and Kurdish
minorities, they must make their voices heard as much as they can in
official and unofficial Turkish channels and become agents of change.
Easy to say, writing from the safety of the Upper West Side, some
might snicker. But the alternative is to appear defenseless and to
invite more attacks.
I happen to be a great fan of Turkish culture and the Turkish
language, and a true lover of Istanbul, once one of the world's great
cosmopolitan cities. My Turkish friends always encourage me to visit,
to spend time, even to come back and live in Turkey as my ancestors
once did. But I need more than just these righteous few and their
welcome encouragement in order to believe that there exists a safe
haven in Turkey for people such as myself, descendants of Armenian
genocide victims deported form their homes in Shabin-Karahisar and
Adiyaman and a myriad of other villages into the Syrian desert. I need
-- the entire world needs -- for Turks to rise up en masse and say
enough! No more violence against our Christian, Kurdish or Alevi
minorities. We need the Turkish government to come clean and make
reparations for 1915 and we need their ongoing campaign of hatred --
in Turkish schoolbooks and on TV and in the written press -- to end,
once and for all. Then Turkey can claim its rightful place as a great
country and become cosmopolitan and tolerant, one fully cognizant of
the fact that it is a country -- like the United States -- in fact
made up of a mosaic of interwoven and beautifully different yet
similar ethnicities and religions. It has been almost 100 years since
the Armenians of Anatolia disappeared into a haze of brutal pillage
and destruction. Turkey can transform itself from a denialist state
into a beacon of hope for the Middle East, but it must start now and
act quickly. There can be no more dithering. Time is of the essence.
Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:37 AM
February 2, 2013 - 10:32 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian American youth – their mouths symbolically covered with red tape – held a silent protest, calling on Congress to reject Turkey’s gag-rule on U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, citing the recent ethnically-motivated attacks against elderly Armenian women in Istanbul as the latest example of the dangerous atmosphere created by Ankara's denials and ongoing demonization of Armenians.
The demonstration, held in front of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, was organized by Armenian Student Association (ASA) members from the across the U.S. along with the Washington, DC "Ani" chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Ani chapter and other local youth, to coincide with the nationwide “Stain of Denial” campus protests organized by the All-ASA and supported by the AYF and ARF Shant Student organizations.
"It was of great importance to make our voices heard and educate the American society about the existing anti-Armenian sentiment in Turkey, which carries its legacy from the Armenian Genocide of 1915,” explained Bloomfield College honors student, Armen Sahakyan, an organizer of the event. “We, as the Armenian youth, will keep our Cause alive for as long as our demands aren't met by the denialist Turkish government."
UCLA ASA Public Relations Director Knarik Gasparyan, who co-organized the event, explained that the effort attracted Armenian and non-Armenian youth alike, many in Washington DC for Capitol Hill internships or semester programs through their colleges and universities. "I want to highlight the fact that many non-Armenian students participated in today's protest, standing in solidarity with us and supporting our efforts to shed light on the horrific hate crimes and human rights violations in Turkey,” explained Gasparyan. “This once again comes to prove that the cause we fight for and the recognition of the Genocide is not simply an Armenian issue, but of concern to all humanity."
Protesters carried photos and spotlighted four widely publicized attacks against elderly Armenian women, one fatal, which have taken place over the past two months, in the historically Armenian-inhabited neighborhood of Samatya, in central Istanbul. On Dec 28, an 85-year-old Armenian woman was repeatedly stabbed and killed in her home, with assailants carving a cross on her chest. Other attacks include the Nov. 2012 beating of an 87-year-old Armenian woman, and a failed attempt to abduct an elderly Armenian woman on Jan 6. According to Turkish news outlet, Bianet, the latest incident took place on Jan 22, when 83-year-old Sultan Aykar was attacked and repeatedly kicked until neighbors heard her screams and rushed to assist her. Aykar lost sight in one eye because of the brutal beating.
Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:46 AM
10:30, 4 February, 2013
YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 4, ARMENPRESS. The Feminist Union of Istanbul
criticized attacks on the Armenians in Samatya district and left
flowers in front of the house of murdered old Armenian woman Maritsa
Kucuk. "Armenpress" reports about this citing Turkish Sondakika.com.
Over 200 women gathered in Fatih KocamustafapaÅ~_a Square with posters
saying "Armenian Women are not Alone". One of the feminist leaders
made a speech and stated: "Recently the discrimination against the
Armenians grew in the society and governmental circles and this is
reality. We will remind you every time that as women we are against
the violence and follow the developments."
Marissa Kucuk was a little old Armenian lady who lived on her own in
Samatya, a picturesque neighborhood of Istanbul where Christians and
Muslims used to rub along peacefully. On December 28th Ms Kucuk, 85,
was found dead in her apartment. She had been stabbed, repeatedly. In
late November 2012, an 87 year-old woman was physically attacked in
the street. She was severely beaten and as a result of the attack
lost the sight in one eye.
Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:11 AM
February 07, 2013 | 16:08
YEREVAN. - A protest march to condemn the discriminatory policy that
is conducted against the Armenians of Turkey will be held in Armenia's
The "Club of Young Diplomats" NGO released a respective statement.
"The "Club of Young Diplomats" NGO deplores the attacks and violence
against the Armenian women in Istanbul's Samatya district, and demands
from the authorities of Turkey to ensure the safety of their citizens
and to be steadfast in bringing the guilty to account.
We call upon all international organizations and human rights
associations to react to the inaction by the Turkish authorities,
and to take measures to protect those persons in the country that
are subjected to persecution on nationalist grounds.
We call upon the NGOs, youth organizations, [and] individuals in
Armenia to join the protest march to condemn the discriminatory policy
that is conducted in Turkey against our compatriots.
The march will be held on February 11, at noon. The route: Republic
Square, UN Office, EU Office," the statement specifically reads.
Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:07 AM
Institute for War & Peace Reporting, UK
IWPR Caucasus Reporting #677
Feb 22 2013
While Istanbul police say common criminals carried out assaults,
others suspect an ethnic motive.
By Aline Ozinian - Caucasus
CRS Issue 677, 22 Feb 13
A series of attacks on elderly Armenians in Istanbul has left human
rights activists fearful of an upsurge of xenophobia in Turkey.
The latest victim was Sultan Aykar, an 80-year-old who lost an eye
when she was attacked.
"If her neighbours hadn't come to her aid, my grandmother would
be dead now," Aykar's granddaughter Karin Etik said by phone from
Istanbul. "She had blood in her mouth, and she was so scared that
she couldn't speak."
It was only the latest in a series of attacks targeting Armenians. At
the end of December, an 85-year-old woman called Maritsa Kucuk was
murdered, in the same Istanbul neighbourhood, Samatya.
Samatya where the attacks have taken place, has traditionally had a
large community of Armenians, who have enjoyed good relations with
Turkish and Kurdish residents over many decades.
The Turkish press initially ignored the assaults, but concerns began
to grow in the international media and among human rights groups.
A January 27 demonstration in Samatya was attended by Turkish and
Kurdish members of parliament, as well as representatives of women's
rights organisations. Participants held up banners saying, "Don't
hurt my Armenian neighbour".
"They want to scare the Armenians, to remind them that they will
not die of old age in their beds," said AyÅ~_e Gunaysu, a member of
anti-racism committee of the Human Rights Association of Turkey. "The
fact that the police are describing these fascist assaults as robberies
only helps to encourage fascism. They are attempting to ethnically
cleanse Samatya. We mustn't forget the fact that the Armenian genocide
is still denied in this country, and these events are a result of
Turkish police have treated the attacks as ordinary crimes, perhaps
the work of drug addicts who share the common belief that Armenians
tend to be wealthier than others.
"We need to be prudent when we discuss these attacks. I would like
to wait before speaking," Mustafa Demir, mayor of Fatih district,
which includes Samatya, told Hurriyet Daily News. "All these attacks
have involved theft as well, so it seems there's little chance that
these are nationalist crimes, if you look into the details."
Others disagree, and suspect a more sinister motive.
"I have no doubt that these events are hate crimes. They need to
be looked at against the background of attacks on Greeks and other
Christians," Orhan Kemil Cengiz, a journalist for the Radikal and
Today's Zaman newspapers, said. "I think that by creating fear among
Christians, someone is trying to recreate the chaotic atmosphere that
dominated Turkey prior to the murder of Hrant Dink,"
Hrant Dink was an ethnic Armenian journalist murdered in 2007 by a
young Turkish nationalist, apparently because of Dink's comments
criticising Ankara's refusal to recognise the early 20th-century
killings of Armenians as genocide . Public outrage at this murder
led to a wave of dismissals from Turkey's security services, but
analysts say extreme nationalism is again spreading , encouraged by
rogue elements within the state.
"Such incidents are the result of deep-laid plans and have deep roots.
The Turkish government must solve these crimes not only to save the
lives of individual Armenians, but to strengthen its own authority,"
Berat Bekir Ozipek, a political analyst with the Liberal Thinking
Association and a journalist for the Star newspaper, said.
Aline Ozinian is a PhD student in Yerevan.
Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:08 AM
February 13, 2013
In a meeting with the media, at Henaran press club, Director of ARF-D
Bureau International Secretariat, Giro Manoyan refering to the latest
murders of Armenian women, in Turkey, held the Turkish ruling power
as the number one responsible for the implementation of the policy
of violence in the country. "In reality, these latest incidents
constitute an expression of the on-going antiarmenian ambience. It is
the same ideology that it has been carried out since the Young Turks
era" henaran.am quotes. Manoyan notes that despite the efforts of
the Turkish ruling party to be freed from the Ataturk atmosphere,
it keeps implementing that same policy. "No high-ranking officer
has made any public referrence to these antiarmenian acts. Only the
police and local government authorities have touched upon them aiming
at presenting them as robbery attempts". The Constantinople department
of the Human Rights Defender's Office of Turkey gave to the public a
special report, stressing that the investigation of the crimes would
be public, which never happened Manoyan said. In that report there
was a clear reference to the non-existence of an anti-Genocide law in
Turkey. "This means that being Armenian maybe considered a blasphemy
but it doesn't incur a criminal punishment".
Many link the growth of the antiarmenian acts to the centennial of
the Armenian Genocide, Manoyan thinks. "The closer we get to that
date the more the number of antiarmenian acts will grow. We are not
saying that this is necessary a plan of the ruling power. However,
firstandforemost, it is the one bearing the responsibility; and that's
a fact" he added.
Manoyan said that based on Armenian and Turkish media reports the
situation is quite worrying since Armenians in Samatya are really
scared. There are houses with cross signs over the entrance doors
and people are afraid that they could be subjected to violence
anytime, tert.am reports. "We must not compromise, we must voice the
prevailing situation as much as possible" said Manoyan and stated that
an all-Armenian stance should be formed. In his opinion, this doesn't
necessarily mean that all Armenians would have to say the same thing
but there is a need of having a clear picture of what Armenians want.
According to mardik.am, the ARF-D member argued that as far as
Turkey's EU accession process is concerned the European Union also,
must be strict so that Turkey doesn't become a member without having
first done anything in that direction.
Posted 04 March 2013 - 09:21 AM
Suspect in assaults on Turkish Armenian women detained
March 4, 2013 - 17:50 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish police have detained a 40-year-old man in Istanbul’s Fatih district on assault charges over the attacks on elderly Armenian women in Istanbul’s Samatya neighborhood, daily Hürriyet reported. The suspect, identified as Murat N., is a Turkish citizen of Armenian origin and was detained as a suspect in five attacks, one of which resulted in death.
The suspect lives alone and allegedly committed the assaults for theft, according to unnamed sources.
Police sources neither confirmed nor denied the detention.
On Dec. 28, 2012, Maritsa Küçük was stabbed seven times before her throat was slit at her home in Samatya. Two other attacks were carried out in the same month against elderly Armenian women in the Samatya and Bakırköy districts as well.
One of the women, 87-year-old Turfanda Aşık, lost an eye, while the other woman was robbed and severely injured. Most recently, 84-year-old Sultan Akyar was attacked in Samatya, after which she underwent eye surgery. On Jan. 27, a march was organized in Samatya district to protest the attacks.
Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:53 PM
It is yet unknown whether Ilker Sahin was Armenian or Turkish
it will not be hard at all for them to pin thin on anyone including Armenians, any tourist any working man is a target at this moment, case will be build and the accused killer will be practiced in flaying colors if his Armenia
yes menak im mernelu or@ chgitem
Posted 06 March 2013 - 01:26 PM
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul’s Fatih district mayor, Mustafa Demir, has expressed his satisfaction with the arrest of M. N., the sole suspect in the investigation of multiple assaults against elderly Armenian women, which resulted in one death.
“Before his arrest there were provocative and discriminative scenarios,” he told the Hürriyet Daily News in a phone interview yesterday. “But the history of these people, who have been living together in Samatya for 550 years, should not be forgotten. No matter if they are Turks, Armenians or Muslims, the fact is there is a petty crime here,” Demir said.
The 38-year-old suspect, who is said to be a Turkish citizen of Armenian origin, was detained March 4. An Istanbul judge later ruled to arrest the suspect.
Demir also said that because the assaulted were all elderly women living alone, it is safe to say the victims were targeted for their vulnerability rather than for their identities. “First of all, as Fatih mayor, I am happy about the arrest of the suspect. Also, I would like to thank Samatya Surp Kevork Church authorities for their calm attitude,” he said.
On Dec. 28, 2012, Maritsa Küçük was stabbed seven times before her throat was slit in her home in Samatya. Two other attacks were carried out in the same month against elderly Armenian women in the Samatya and Bakırköy districts as well. One of the women, 87-year-old Turfanda Aşık, lost an eye, while another was robbed and severely injured. 84-year-old Sultan Akyar was attacked in Samatya and needed eye surgery.
Leading figures of the Armenian community told the Daily News the suspect was not known among the community.
Aşık’s grand daughter-in-law Arev Cebeci said they were following the developments closely.
“At least it seems that the assaults were not race crimes. The suspect is an Armenian who converted to Islam. It is being said that he lives in Samatya and receives aids from the church, but such information does not exist in church records,” Cebeci said. However, he said he still had doubts. “They said it was a robbery attempt but he stole only jewelry that did not have [much] material value,” Cebeci said. Arsen Arşık, a former academic from Boğaziçi University and an acquaintance of two of the victims, called on the public not to regard the attacks as hate crimes.
M.N. was previously convicted of theft on two separate accounts, reports said. He had been staying on the basement floor of a hostel in a nearby neighborhood when he was caught by police.
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