Second attack not confirmed independently
ISTANBUL, Turkey—Two elderly Armenian women were attacked in
Istanbul’s Samatya district on Jan 22 and 23, less than a month after an
84-year-old Armenian woman was brutally murdered in Istanbul, raising
the number of violent attacks against elderly Armenian women to at least
four in recent months.
The Jan. 22 attack happened around 5 p.m. when the victim,
83-year-old Sultan Aykar was about to enter her ground-floor apartment.
She then saw the intruder and, frightened, she fell. The attacker
proceeded to kick her. Hearing her screams, neighbors came down, scaring
off the masked man, reported Bianet. The neighbors described the
attacker as a male between the ages of 35 and 40, with gray hair, and
dressed in black. During the attack, Aykar suffered damage to her eye.
She has now lost sight in that eye, despite surgery on Jan. 23. The
victim’s daughter, Menzar Etik, said her mother did not have any
enemies, as she was a quiet woman. Etik did not believe the attacker’s
intention was robbery, as the attacker did not attempt to steal her
purse, and there was nothing more than a broken TV in her apartment.
Today (Jan. 23), another attack was reported on yet another elderly
Armenian woman. The attack happened on the street, near the Samatya High
School, sources reported. The two assailants ran away. The victim was
covered with blood. Shortly thereafter, she disappeared. Community
members and plainclothes policemen have been unable to find or identify
The Armenian Weekly could not independently confirm the report on today’s attack.
In turn, Agos editor Rober Koptas told the Weekly, “We spoke to churchmen, taghagans, shopkeepers, police, and lots of people but none of them confirmed it.”
The Samatya area is home to many Armenians. The community is weary of these attacks, and calls for caution have been made.
In recent years, there have been several attacks against Armenians in
Turkey. In early December another Armenian woman was attacked and
robbed; while months earlier an Armenian woman was attacked by a taxi
driver and called an infidel.
On Jan. 6, three assailants tried to kidnap an elderly Armenian woman, according to Turkish sources. The attempt failed.
According to human rights activists, the common thread that runs
through all of these crimes is not just their being motivated by hate or
being committed in an environment that breeds intolerance against
Armenians, but also the efforts of the authorities to play them down and
cover them up.
The Armenian Weekly will continue following up on this issue.