ISTANBUL (Combined Sources)—The situation was tense last night in the Armenian-populated districts of Istanbul, Arevelk.am reports citing its sources in Turkey, as Turkish nationalist groups attacked the Sisli, Kurtulus, and Besitktas neighborhoods, in an apparent retaliation against the recent wave of violence that has gripped Turkey.
“We must turn these districts into Armenian and Kurdish cemeteries,” the groups reportedly chanted.
The violence is said to be a backlash against recent clashes between Turkish army and police forces, and the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) in the country’s east and southeast.
The Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople released a statement condemning the ongoing violence and terrorist attacks across Turkey, urging groups to withhold from making statements targeted at the Armenian community of Turkey.
According to Anadolu news agency, the Patriarchate said that it prays for an end to the violence threatening the unity and integrity of Turkey, and the establishment of long-term peace.
The Patriarchate also expressed its concern over the targeting of the Armenian community in Turkish media.
“From time to time expressions of some writers targeting our community and identifying it with that terrorist group deeply insult the Armenian citizens who have always been committed to this country and possess civic consciousness. Using unjust expressions referring to the Armenian citizens considering themselves a part of Turkey is an attitude not fitting in the frames of goodness. We are convinced that the majority of our nation does not agree to these alienating expressions,” the statement reads.
In its statement the Patriarchate also strongly condemned all terrorist acts in the country, and expressed its condolences to the families of those killed in the recent spike in violence across Turkey.