World Bulletin / News Desk
Residents, civil society groups and political party representatives gathered in the central square of İstanbul's Samatya neighborhood on Sunday to protest a number of attacks committed against elderly Armenian women in their homes over the past few months, one of which resulted in a death, with police failing to capture the assailants.
“Don't touch my neighbor” and “I will not let you hurt my brothers and sisters” read some of the signs held by the protesters. Dozens joined the rally, including Mersin independent deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) İstanbul deputy Sebahat Tuncel. She attended in her capacity as a representative of the Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK), a Kurdish civil society organization that also organized Sunday's rally.
The crowd also lay carnations in front of the apartment building of one of the victims, presumably that of Maritsa Küçük, who was brutally murdered in her apartment.
All the speakers condemned the police department and accused it of covering up the reality behind the attacks.
Five women were attacked in the past two months. Police say there is no ethnic targeting, claiming that only three of the women attacked were Armenian. But civil society groups insist that the events were no ordinary cases of robbery, as nothing valuable was taken from the houses of the attacked women. There were also claims that the attacks could have been perpetrated by construction mafia seeking to prevent elderly homeowners from holding up new constructions in the region.
However, the message in Sunday's march was clear, with most protesters saying they did not buy the police's interpretation of the events.
On Saturday, a group of 30 members of the Freedom and Democracy Party (ÖDP) protested the attacks in front of the Kocamustafapaşa Train Station. ÖDP İstanbul provincial branch secretary Çiçek Çatalkaya in a speech she made here referred to the attacks as “racist and fascist,” and asserted that these were not isolated incidents. “We know that these attacks are not related to profit seekers from urban renewal projects. We know this because the blood that was shed on this land 100 years ago has still not dried,” Çatalkaya said, in reference to the 1915 massacre of Armenians in Turkey's Southeast.
The first attack in the past few months was on Nov. 1, 2012. A woman named Gönül A. was beaten by an intruder, and her valuables were stolen. On Nov. 28, Tuivat A. (87) was attacked inside her house. She lost one eye in the attack and her valuables were also taken. On Dec. 28, Maritsa Küçük (85) was brutally murdered in her house, where she lived alone. In the fifth attack, Sultan Aykar (80) was stabbed as she entered her house.Last Mod: 27 Ocak 2013, 17:42