Unknown perpetrators have vandalized the Surp Hreshdagabet Armenian Church in Balat, with graffiti saying, “You are finish”. Minority Foundations Representative Moris Levi has condemned the “act of hate crime,” said they filed a complaint.
The Surp Hreshdagabet Armenian Church in Balat dictrict of İstanbul was vandalized with graffiti on Saturday (February 23). The perpetrators wrote on the walls of the church, “You are finish.”
Minority Foundations Representative Moris Levi has made a statement regarding the incident, saying, “These acts are a clear hate crime and our communities are still being subjected to such attacks.”
Levi said in his statement that he condemns the perpetrators and that they have filed a complaint at the İstanbul Security Directorate.
Writer Mıhçı: The ‘New Turkey’
Writer and representative of Armenian publication Nor Zartonk, Murad Mıhçı, commented on the attack on his Twitter account. Sharing the images of the church, Mıhçı said,
“The walls and the door of the Balat Surp Armenian Church. Its entrance we built with the rocks from the historical church in İzmir, where the council met. The church opens one day a year. It is believed to give remedy to people.
“As they say, “ARE YOU FINISH?”, there are no local people left. The “New Turkey.”
HDP MP Paylan: Politics that produce hate should be ended
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Garo Paylan also condemned the attack on his Twitter account:
“A hate attack has been carried out against Balat Surp Hreshdagabet Armenian Church.
“Every year, scores of hate attacks are being carried out against churches and synagogues.
“Not just the perpetrators, but also people who are behind them should be advanced on.
“For the most important part, the politics that produce hate should be ended…”
About the Surp Hreshdagabet Church
The Surp Hreshdagabet Armenian Church was built in 1635. After burned up in 1692, it was rebuilt.
It burned in another fire that broke out in Balat in 1729. It was opened for worshipping again in 1730. Throughout the time, it burned and was rebuilt as a wooden building over and over again.
It burned again in 1827, then it was rebuilt as a masonry building upon the order of Sultan Mahmud II. It was reopened for worship in 1835.
It was renovated in 2005 and restored in 2012. (TP/VK)