08/14/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Recently, the graves in the cemetery belonging to the Armenian Holy Savior and Surp Karasun Manuk churches in Ankara were desecrated. Mustafa Yeneroğlu, Istanbul deputy and vice chairman of the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), reported that the graves were vandalized and the remains were scattered.
It is believed that the vandals were searching for gold (such as gold teeth). A common misperception among many Muslims is that Christians are wealthy. This often leads to grave desecration, and sometimes more violent incidents.
“The bones need to be buried again and the area must be secured. To be civilized one has to preserve cemeteries and cultural heritage,” Yeneroğlu said. He is currently working with Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş to remedy the issue.
This incident also occurs within the context of a growing retreat from secularism, and movement toward Islamism, that has begun under President Erdogan’s administration. In recent months, the repression of religious minorities and direct attacks on religious freedom have only increased. The international community must urge Turkey to protect all citizens equally.
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].