Turkish ultranationalists show off muscles in Istanbul’s Armenian quarters


As fighting rages in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave between Armenian separatists and Turkish-backed Azerbaijani forces, fear of retaliation continues to grow within Turkey’s Armenian community. On October 5, a Turkish ultra-nationalist convoy gave a horn concert in the middle of the night in the Kurtulus neighborhood, where many Armenians live. On the images relayed on Twitter, we could also see Azeri and Turkish flags displayed on the roofs of their vehicles.

Since September 27, the forces of the separatist enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, supported by Armenia, and those of Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, have clashed in battles that have left between 300 and 400 dead according to an official report. It was in this climate of great tension that a convoy of Azerbaijani supporters stormed into Istanbul’s Kurtulus neighborhood, where many Armenians live.

In the images below, filmed from a building, we see a traffic jam of several vehicles honking their horns, hazard lights on and Azeri and Turkish flags deployed. The scene takes place on Halaskargazi Avenue, one of Istanbul’s main thoroughfares.

On September 28, the day after the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh began, a similar convoy appeared in Kumkapi, a predominantly Armenian neighborhood of Istanbul and home to the seat of the Armenian Patriarchate.

These images were filmed near the Armenian Patriarchate on September 28, in the Kumkapi district, home to Armenians from Turkey but also many Armenian immigrants from Armenia.

“The fact that such convoys can move to Kurtulus or Kumkapi is quite representative of a climate of laissez-faire within the Turkish authorities. These convoys cause public disturbances. The police could stop them immediately. it had been a demonstration Lgbt or the Prokurdist HDP (People’s Democratic Party, Editor’s note), the demonstration would have been stopped immediately and there were many arrests, “said an Istanbul-based journalist, who requested anonymity for his safety.

Many Armenians even see such shows as a desire to intimidate their community.

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