Turkish Christians Targeted in Hate Speech

05/12/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) –Turkish magazine Gerçek Hayat has published a special 176-page edition which targeted leading members of religious minorities in Turkey. The magazine’s special edition was entitled “FETO: Who is the Chief Terrorist Fethullah Gulen? The 100-year history of the most vicious terrorist organization.” The magazine edition, which is expected to remain in circulation until September 2020, makes allegations that key religious minority leaders are co-conspirators of FETO. The spread includes photos of these figures.

The magazine falsely alleges that the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew helped FETO stage the 2016 coup attempt. Turkey’s Chief Rabbi, the former Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, and Pope John Paul II are also targeted. A number of religious leaders have condemned these allegations, warning that they could incite racist attacks and desecration. For example, on Friday an Armenian church was targeted by an arsonist.

Gerçek Hayat is connected to the Albayrak Holding conglomerate, which is known to have close ties to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Their media interests lean Islamist and have often targeted Christians through hate speech. Connecting Christians with FETO is further alarming, as President Erdoğan has used FETO allegations to arrest all forms of dissidence and subject the country to silence.

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