Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Report on Hate Speech against Christians in Erdoğan's Turkey

See here for the full synopsis. For a pdf of the 60-page report, see here. The Stockholm Center for Freedom, who produced the report, is a group founded by Turkish journalists exiled because of the the crackdown on freedoms in that country that began in July of last year.


The hatred towards Christian minority groups in Turkey and xenophobic euphoria against Christians in general are being fueled in an unprecedented campaign led by Turkey’s rulers, especially the country’s authoritarian leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a new case study by Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has revealed.

Turkish president Erdoğan who often spews hate speech against Christians, particularly Vatican, continues to stigmatize millions of people in Turkey and around the world with his systematic and deliberate campaign of churning hostility against Christians. His propaganda machinery amplifies this hateful narrative and the mass media under Erdoğan’s control spread it further to a larger audience.

“Erdoğan has weaponized hate speech against Christians in Turkey and this has been quite worrisome development for some time now,” said Abdullah Bozkurt, the President of Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF).

“He resorts ugly slurs, floats false claims about Vatican, associates his Muslim opponents with fabricated Crusader stories and fan the hostility against Christians,” he added.

SCF has reviewed Erdoğan’s public speeches delivered in recent years to uncover the pattern as well as campaigns run by his associates in politics and media. Turkish president openly ruled out an interfaith dialogue between Islam and Christianity, branded the European Union as group of infidels led by the Pope, and even accused the United Nation Security Council as representing only Christian nations.


Another report on hate speech in Turkey, prepared this year by the Hrant Dink Foundation, can be read here. Excerpt:


In the four-month period covering January-February-March-April 2017, 1806 columns and articles targeting national, ethnic and religious groups have been found. And 2335 hate speech items have been identified in these texts.

In January-April 2017 period, the central issue in print media was the constitutional referendum held on April 16. Along with the referendum, topics like ‘Operation Euphrates Shield’ carried out by Turkish Armed Forces in Al-Bab region of Syria, developments concerning the coup attempt on July 15, practices of State of Emergency and emergency decrees having the force of law, Cyprus talks held in Geneva in January, crises between Turkey and Greece over Kardak islets and Aegean islands, anniversary of Khojaly Massacre (February 26), Greek Cypriot parliament’s approval of the resolution that enables the commemoration of ‘Enosis’ (the referendum held in 1950 for annexing Cyprus to Greece), April 24 Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day, Syrian refugees who fled from their country because of the war and came to Turkey had a role in the rise of hate speech.

When a distribution per targeted groups is made, it is seen that Armenians have the largest number of hate speech items against them with 439 items. Syrians follow them with 433 items and Jews has the third place with 298 items. Christians with 210 items and Greeks with 198 items follow them as the groups that are subjected to hate speech.


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