ISTANBUL (Agos)—Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament representing the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) appealed to the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Wednesday that hate crimes are being committed against minority groups in Turkey with, Agos reported.
Paylan submitted a written parliamentary question addressed to Yıldırım reminding him that he had sent a complaint last week about the suspects who threatened Agos newspaper by placing black wreaths in front of Agos’ office.
He also prompted that three Armenian schools in 2016 were vandalized with anti-Armenian graffiti. Paylan also reminded that Asri Jewish Cemetery in Hatay and the Syriac ancient cemetery of the Syriac Orthodox Mor Peter and Mor Paul Church had been vandalized.
During questioning, Paylan asked whether there are any efforts to prevent crimes against minority groups, if there are precautions for protecting minority institutions at risk, and whether there are any investigation on hate crimes.
Here is the full parliamentary question:
“On April 24, 2015, a black wreath was placed in front of the office of Agos and the perpetrators released a statement on social media titled as ‘One night, we might come to visit you unexpectedly.’ Agos filed a criminal complaint against this threat and a lawsuit was launched against Nationalist Turkish Party Istanbul Chair Bilal Gökçeyurt and the chair of the so-called Turan Organization Ercan Uçar. The prosecution demanded a prison sentence for the suspects on the charges of threatening and insulting. However, on November 17, the suspects had been acquitted.
Furthermore, in 2016, racist statements had been written on the walls of three Armenian schools in different times. In August 2016, ‘Suffering for Armenians’ was written on the wall of Surp Haç Tıbrevank High School; it was written ‘Suffering for Armenians’ on the front wall of Kalfayan on January 2016 and ‘Long may live Turkish race’ on September 2016; and on November 2016, it was written, ‘One night, we will seize Karabakh unexpectedly’ on the wall of Bomonti Mıhitaryan High School.
In addition, Jewish cemetery in Hatay was vandalized on June 2016 and the Syriac ancient cemetery of the Syriac Orthodox Mor Peter and Mor Paul Church had been vandalized on November.
Thus, I would like to ask:
1- What kind of works is the government carrying out for preventing the hate crimes against the minority groups, that has been increasing and going unpunished?
2- Is the government taking any specific precautions for protecting the minority institutions and their properties?
3- Is the Intelligence Department of Turkey (MİT) carrying out any investigation on the hate crimes against the minority groups?”