Suspect detained over attack on Armenian church in Istanbul
An unidentified attacker has dismantled a cross outside an Armenian church in Istanbul’s historical Kuzguncuk neighborhood.
Security footage delivered to the police showed the attack occurred on May 23 in the Üsküdar district, according to a statement made by the Surp Krikor Lusaroviç Armenian Church.
The management said they have lodged a criminal complaint about the incident and have 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 made by the ruling power normalizes hate crimes,” he said in a tweet.
On May 9, another Armenian church in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district, once home to Istanbul’s now dwindling Armenian community, was also attacked. The man who attempted to set the church’s gate on fire was detained.