Monday, August 31, 2009

HOUSES OF CHRISTIANS IN ISTANBUL MARKED WITH RED AND GREEN LABELS

Pogrom. Painting of Manuil Shechtman (1927)

J├╝rgen Gottschlich
Istanbul, Turkey
DER STANDARD
August 26, 2009

Christian houses in the Ferikoy und Kurtulus, areas in Istanbul, where many Armenians and Greeks live, were marked with red or green labels in the past weeks.

Kurdish representatives in the Turkish Parliament requested clarification after Agos, Istanbul based Armenian newspaper, had reported about the incident. It is still unclear who was behind the action.

Agos editor Aris Nalci confirmed to the Austrian news-source, Der Standard, worried and mainly older members of the Armenian community called the newspaper and reported about the fact of small red or green papers hung on their houses. After Agos investigated, they noted that about 100 houses in which, not always but very often, Armenians still live were plastered with these labels.

“We do not know what all this means,” Nalci said, but some people are worried. Demands at the city administration and the police brought no results until now. “Nobody knows about it,” says Nalci. “It can be a bad joke; it can however also have a serious background,” said Nalci.

The indictment against the nationalist Ergenekon group is accused of having planned a coup against the government of Prime Minister Erdogan, including planned attacks on Armenians as a tool for targeted destabilization.

Agos newpaper and Sebahat Tuncel are now demanding that the police carry out an official investigation to reassure the people concerned. “They should publicly take a position,” said Nalci, “so we know what’s going on.”

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