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03/17/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Independent Turkish news outlets report a growing trend of attacks on Christian cemeteries. Last month, twenty of 72 gravestones in the Ortaköy Christian Cemetery in Ankara were destroyed. Another incident occurred in Trabzon, where a grave was destroyed in the cemetery of the Santa Maria Catholic Church.

In both cases, the perpetrators of the crimes were not held accountable for their actions. Others warn that these kinds of incidents have occurred because of an “environment of hate” towards Christians that has spread throughout Turkey. The government has grown the role of Islamism in policy decisions, and often frames Christians as the country’s enemy. This narrative is repeated across the media and throughout the education sector.

It is normal for there to be a few reported incidents of Christian graves being desecrated each year in Turkey, but to have so many within a 4-week period is noteworthy. Many Christians in Turkey have warned that they are noticing an increase of hostilities toward them. While it has not reached a level of widespread violence against the living, these incidents against Christian graves foreshadow a warning of a possibly difficult future.

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