Minister of Interior unaware of attacks targeting Armenians in Turkey -
In answering a Parliamentary question by CHP MP Tanrıkulu about the attacks against Armenians, Interior Minister Soylu has said, “Security measures are taken in places of worship so that our Armenian citizens can worship freely.”
The Parliamentary question of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu about the attacks targeting Armenians has been answered by the Ministry of Interior after over a year.
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İstanbul MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu actually addressed his Parliamentary question to Vice President Fuat Oktay and asked him a series of questions in the wake of a knife attack carried out against an Armenian woman named Arpine T. in Samatya, İstanbul on May 31, 2019.
In his question, he asked whether the perpetrator of the attack was caught or not. The question of Tanrıkulu has been responded by Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu, who has said that the legal proceedings initiated by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office are still underway.
Questions on the attack left unanswered
The Parliamentary question of Tanrıkulu was not only about the attack against Arpine T., but also about the attacks against Armenians all together.
So, he asked whether the marks left on Armenians' houses in Samatya were investigated, how many perpetrators involved in physical attacks against Armenians or marking of their houses had been identified in the last three years, how many of them were caught and faced a legal action.
Soylu: Armenians worship in safety
However, leaving these questions unanswered, Minister Soylu has said, "Necessary security measures are taken in our Armenian citizens' places of worship and their demands relating to security services are meticulously evaluated so that they can worship freely."
The Minister has also referred to the Article 10 of the Constitution in his answer and said, "As per the provision of 'everyone is equal before the law without distinction as to language, race, colour, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion and sect, or any such grounds," our all citizens living in our country are under the protection and guarantee of our State."
'Questions are either unanswered or avoided'
Speaking to bianet about the answer of the Minister, Tanrıkulu has noted that since the Presidential Government System entered into force in Turkey, they have been unable to receive answers to their questions:
"Parliamentary questions are one of the tools that the MPs can use to inspect the government. But after the Presidential system, our questions are not answered or they are simply avoided, as in the case of this question.
"In the Parliamentary question, we asked the ways in which the life safety of Armenian citizens is protected in the places where they live. However, there is no answer to this question of ours.
"Moreover, we submitted the question right after the incident took place last year; however, there occurred other attacks targeting the churches in the meantime. The spouse of Hrant Dink and the attorneys of Dink family were threatened. The responsibility in all this directly belongs to the government."
Other questions by Tanrıkulu were as follows:
"Is the Ministry of Interior doing any works to prevent the attacks and threats regularly targeting the Armenians, especially the one in Samatya? Has a conclusion been drawn as to whether the attacks and threats targeting Armenian citizens are led by a particular organized group?
"Have any investigations been launched against the law enforcement officers who did not stop or could not prevent the attacks and threats against Armenian citizens How many social media users have faced proceedings over their messages targeting the Armenian citizens on the basis of ethnicity and beliefs and inciting violence and attacks against them over the last year?
In early morning hours on May 31, 2019, Arpine T. sent off her husband Sarkis T. Shortly afterwards, the door of their house in Samatya was knocked. Two unidentified persons wearing masks injured Arpine T. with a knife and told her that "it was just the beginning" in running. Arpine T. was taken to the İstanbul Training and Research Hospital after the incident.
The house of the couple was reportedly marked two months before the incident. High Priest Zakeos Ohanyan from the Turkish Armenian Patriarchate spoke about the incident and said that papers containing hate speech were previously hung on their walls and a cross was drawn
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