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09/29/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) –  A demonstration of Azerbaijani flags occurred on the Istanbul Kumpapi street where the Armenian Patriarchate is located. Armenian Member of Parliament, Garo Paylan, stated, “Allowing such a demonstration to be held on the street where the Armenian Patriarchate is located is a provocation. I urge the government to take the necessary measures regarding our Patriarchate and our institutions. The end of hate speech is hate crimes. Stop hate politics!”

The country of Armenia, which is Christian, and the Islamic country of Azerbaijan are currently entangled in conflict aggravated by Turkey. The conflict includes both strong religious and ethnic overtones (as Turks view Armenians as “dirty” and Azerbaijanis as their brothers). It is common for Armenians living within Turkey to face an increase of hate speech and hate crimes whenever these three countries experience a conflict.

It is also important to remember the context of the genocide and state control of Christian institutions. A century ago, Turkey committed a genocide against Christians which left 1.5 million Armenians dead. Since then, Turkey has refused to recognize the genocide and has made it almost impossible for Armenian Christians to freely govern their own church. This approach has only encouraged social hostility towards Armenians, and this hostility has strong nationalistic elements during environments such as the current crisis.

It essentially strips Armenian Christians of their voice, and further isolates them.

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