SHAME: Suspects in Attack on Elderly Couple in Istanbul Were Armenian

Seta Demirici, whose husband Hagop was killed during the attack, being taken to the hospital
Seta Demirici, whose husband Hagop was killed during the attack, being taken to the hospital

Seta Demirici, whose husband Hagop was killed during the attack, being taken to the hospital


When an elderly Armenian couple was found hogtied in an apartment in Istanbul on Saturday, resulting in the death of one of them, there was speculation—including from this publication—that it was a hate crime against Armenians.

On February 6, Hagop Yakup Demirci, an 85-year-old Armenian man living in Istanbul’s Şişli district with his wife, Seta Ayda Demirci, 79, was found dead after burglars left the elderly Armenian couple hogtied inside their apartment, from which the burglars stole 100,000 Turkish liras (around $35,000). The body of Demirci was retrieved from the apartment located in Şişli’s Harbiye neighborhood with a ladder from the fire department, according to Hurriyet Daily Newspaper.

On Thursday, Istanbul authorities announced that eight suspects were apprehended and all of them were Armenian.

A special team formed by several officers from the homicide bureau of the Istanbul Police Department Public Order Unit captured three of the suspects, one of whom has been a servant for the Armenian couple, in the Black Sea province of Trabzon late Feb. 9 while five other suspects, who were reported to have helped commit the burglary, were captured in Istanbul on the same day. All eight of the suspects, five women and three men, were revealed to be Armenians upon a police investigation, reported Hurriyet.

On Thursday, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that the suspects were from Armenia, saying, however, “Opportunities to provide consular assistance are restricted because of the lack of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey.”

Police identified the suspects from video footage around the couple’s apartment located on Cumhuriet Street. The three burglars who were captured in Trabzon were preparing to travel to Batumi, a commercial hub in Georgia, with fake identity cards, police sources said, adding that the trio had former criminal records.

The couple was discovered by a housekeeper who went to the apartment at around 2 p.m. Saturday. After not receiving a response she informed the couple’s family and the police.

The couple was taken out of their apartment on the third floor of a building in a joint effort by police officers and firefighters. Hagop Yakup Demirci was pronounced dead while his wife was found severely wounded with her face bruised. She was released from the hospital on Monday.

Shame on the alleged suspects for attacking the elderly couple.

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. Norin said:

    Publish the suspects’ pictures so we all know who to punch when we come across the in this world.

  2. Hrant Varozian said:

    You should allow the investigation to be completed before being so quick to assign “shame”. Keep in mind, the Turkish police/government are not exactly the most ethical forces. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they just went out and arrested anyone even remotely close to being a suspect and charging them without a thorough investigation.

    Obviously, what happened to this elderly couple is a travesty. But your job is to report the news, not assign “shame”. You are an Armenian Newspaper, not an Armenian Grandmother.

    • Quant said:

      I personally witnessed my old Armenian neighbour assaulted by another Armenian from Russia just because my neighbour praised Turks. This happened in Ferikoy / Sisli / Istanbul in 2001.

    • LAllen said:

      It said they were identified by video footage from the couples house. Not to mention one worked for the couple not to mention a couple were caught with fake documents to travel. Come on now.

  3. edward demian said:

    Very good. Funny how efficient the Turkish police is, when they want to be. As to the unimaginative Armenian criminals, they deserve the best that Turkish prisons have to offer. The film, “Midnight Express” comes to mind.

  4. grigor sharlakyan said:

    are you kidding me ,,shame,, …they are turkys allays… and must be KILLED…. where are you HAJ KAJER reach them,find them and kill all of them… i am sorry i dont have eny opportunity to do that myself!!!!

  5. Andy said:

    What consular assistance? Let them be shot or rot in Turkish prison. They deserve nothing better than that.

  6. zarkim said:

    We have apparently MISJUDGED Turkey for the attack on this couple Seta Demirici and husband Hagop.
    We must always make sure before Judging. For example we need to investigate this new Turkish claim. It may not be accurate.
    So, , We misjudged and we are sorry.
    Turkey’s track record for occasionally killing Armenians like Hrant Dink and other people;
    Turkish Government’s deliberate intrusion and destruction of Armenian Churches, cemeteries; etc.. are the reason why we have assumed that this attack was also a deliberate hate crime. We must be forgiven for that.,8599,2104666,00.html
    If it was not for Turkish bad track record, we would not have misjudged.
    We should first make sure the recent Turkish report is true.