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ECRI Report on Turkey Finds Hate Speech and Crimes Against Armenians

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

On October 4, the European Commission Against Racism Intolerance (ECRI), established by the Council of Europe, released the “ECRI Report on Turkey.“ The following excerpts from the report under “Findings and Recommendations” are regarding hate speech and crimes against Armenians in Turkey. Click here for the full report.

41. Due to the above, perpetrators of hate speech do not fear punishment and the substantial groups of the population targeted by hate speech are left without protection. To remedy this situation, ECRI considers that the police and prosecution services should, as recommended in §§ 18 and 82 to 86 of ECRI’s GPR No. 11, establish sustained contact and mutual confidence with groups that are regularly victims of hate speech, such as Alevis, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Kurds, LGBT persons, Roma and refugee communities. This should be the starting point to improve the reporting of hate speech to the police and should lead to the thorough investigation and punishment of racist and homo/transphobic offences. Independent bodies specializing in combating racism should be involved in these activities.
55. Other groups are also victims of hate crime. On 7 August 2015, unknown perpetrators shot at the car of the Alevi Bektaşi Federation President Baki Düzgün. In the case of the death of Sevag Sahin Balikci, a soldier of Armenian descent, the court concluded that the perpetrator, another soldier, had killed him by accident. However, there was evidence of prior racial conflicts between the two. In Istanbul, proceedings concerning the possibly racially-motivated murder of another woman of Armenian descent, Maritsa Kücük, are still under way. On 29 January 2015 the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly again called on Turkey to undertake a full investigation into the violent death of the Armenian writer Hrant Dink. Christian minorities, like the Greek Orthodox and Protestant communities, have recently suffered from attempted arson to churches, burglary and death threats. Fortunately, in recent years, their members have rarely been the victims of violent offences to the person. The Jewish community has to spend large amounts on security to prevent violent attacks. Lately, some refugees have also become the targets of racist hate crimes.

ECRI is an independence human rights monitoring body specialized in questions relating to racism and intolerance.

The following report was drawn up by ECRI under its own responsibility. It covers the situation up to March 17, 2016. Developments since that date are neither covered in the following analysis nor taken into account in the conclusions and proposals therein.

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