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Many intellectuals and politicians attended a march organized on Jan. 27 in Istanbul's Samatya district to protest recent assaults against elderly Armenian women that the city’s Armenian community are hesitant to define as hate crimes.
The march drew support from members of Istanbul's other minority communities, including Syriacs, Kurds and religious conservatives, who joined Armenians to bring awareness to a slew of recent violent attacks levied against the Armenian community. As part of the march flowers were left in front of the home of 84-year-old Maritsa Kucuk, who was murdered last month in her home.
Organized by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Turkey's main Armenian organization, the march saw Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies Ertugrul Kurkcu, Sabahat Tuncel and Sureyya Onder, former chair of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) Ufuk Uras and Hrant Dink's brother Orhan Dink participate.
Speaking to the Hurriyet Daily News, Onder said they would closely follow and negotiate with the Interior Minister about the incidents on Jan. 31.
Meanwhile, Kurkcu said it should be questioned why all the victims were Armenians. "I hope the plots behind these incidents will be investigated efficiently and [the truths] could be revealed. Elderly and defenseless women are targeted; it is evident that the motivations behind them are hate and revenge," Kurkcu said.
On Dec. 28, 2012, Marissa Kucuk was stabbed seven times before having her throat slit while in her home in Samatya. Two separate attacks were carried out in the past month against elderly Armenian women in the Samatya and Bakyrkoy districts as well. One of the women, 87-year-old Turfanda Asyk, lost an eye, while the other woman was robbed and severely injured. Most recently, 84-year-old Sultan Akyar was attacked in Samatya, after which she underwent eye surgery.
As political expert Artak Shakaryan has recently said the press-conference in Yerevan, the nationalistic mood has becoming more and more stronger in the Turkish society, as a result of which we have attacks on Armenians. He also added that such a tendency will grow because of the coming 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide and activation of the process of international recognition of the genocide.