Update on attacks on Armenians in Istanbul

With the crimes still under investigation by Turkish authorities and little coverage in either the mainstream Turkish press or Western media, information on a series of attacks on Armenians in Istanbul is still extremely limited.   A good, basic summary in English can be found on Jenny White’s Kamil Pasha blog.

The best coverage, naturally, has been in Agos [all links to Agos in Turkish], the main press outlet of the Armenian community of Turkey.

The latest coverage in Agos has questioned many of the more graphic elements of  initial news reports.  In particular, both police and the Maritsa Küçük’s family have reportedly disavowed initial reports that a crucifix had been cut into her body.

At the same time, Agos‘ coverage has highlighted a series of crimes directed at those close to the Armenian community, including an attempted kidnapping, and the bloody murder of İlker Şahin, who, while not himself Armenian, worked at an Armenian primary school.

As op-ed columnist, Orhan Kemal Cengiz, highlights in Today’s Zaman, it is certainly possible that these crimes are unrelated to each other.  But, Cengiz underlines, the context of the Armenians in Turkey can not be ignored; routinely vilified as an “enemy within,” they have good reason to fear being targeted.


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