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Turkish-Armenian MP brings hate crimes against minority groups to parliament agenda

HDP Istanbul MP Garo Paylan brought the impunity of the hate crimes against the minority groups to the parliamentary agenda.

Paylan tabled a written parliamentary question addressed to Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım. He reminded that the suspects who placed a black wreath in front of the office of Agos had been released last week. 

According to Agos, he also reminded that some racist statements had been written on the walls of 3 Armenian schools within a year. He pointed out that Asri Jewish Cemetery in Hatay and the Syriac ancient cemetery of the Syriac Orthodox Mor Peter and Mor Paul Church had be vandalized.

Paylan asked what kind of efforts there are for preventing the crimes against the minority groups, whether there are precautions for protecting the minority institutions at risk and whether there is any investigation on hate crimes.

Below 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 so-called Turan Organization Ercan Uçar. The prosecution demanded 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 3 Armenian schools in different times. On August 2016, it was written 'Suffering for Armenians' 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?

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