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23/11/2017

Turkey's Mass Persecution of Christians and Kurds

  • Gatestone Institute
  • Visto: 239
  • Yazidis, Alevis and women in the region are also being abused by Turkish authorities, and dozens of Kurdish journalists who have publicized this have been imprisoned.
  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has seized Christian churches and turned them into state property. This hatred of Christians and Kurds in Turkey is not restricted to government officials, but it is widespread on social media.
  • The situation of minorities in Turkey and their persecution by Turkey -- a member of NATO and perpetual candidate for EU membership -- must be told as often and as loudly as possible.

 Sept.4.– Since 2015, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been attacking Kurdish-majority areas in the country.

A 2017 World Heritage Watch report details the destruction of one such town, Suriçi (Sur), as follows:

    "[C]urfews were declared six times for several days each from September 2015. These curfews were 24-hour-a-day blockades and led to clashes between Turkish state forces and Kurdish rebel groups, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people and serious destruction of the affected area. The last ongoing curfew from 11 December 2015, accompanied by the use of heavy military weapons such as tanks, mortar and artillery by the government, was the most devastating one. Numerous historical buildings and monuments – as well as the integrity and authenticity of Suriçi – suffered damage and destruction."

The clashes have taken their toll on Turkey's Christian population, which is caught in the crossfire. According to a November 2016 report in The Armenian Weekly,

    "The past year has been a living hell for the hidden Armenians of Turkey. The civil war between the Kurdish resistance guerrillas and the Turkish army has resulted in massive destruction in southeastern and eastern Turkey. Most of the buildings in the region have been bombed or burnt by the army and police forces, followed by complete demolition and razing of the damaged buildings... with only a few mosques, police stations, or government buildings left standing.

    "Entire neighborhoods have disappeared, reduced to rubble. The Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakır has escaped the fighting relatively intact structurally... But the Turkish security forces have used it as an army base, desecrating the church, burning some of the pews as firewood, with garbage and smell of urine everywhere."

A similar report, from August 2017 ...

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