Hrant Dink Foundation: Jews, Syrians and Greeks main targets of hate speeches in Turkey

Hate speeches in Turkey have basically targeted Jews, Syrians and Greeks mostly in the period May-August period in 2017, according to a report released by the Hrant Dink Foundation

The Foundation’s ‘s quarterly report titled ‘hate speech in the media’ shows that in the four months of May, June, July and August of 2017, 1,082 columns and news stories targeting national, ethnic and religious groups were identified in the Monitoring of Hate Speech in the Media study.

In 62 publications, the hate speech over different groups and ethnicities was identified in different categories. They study examined news stories and opinion columns in terms of the number of groups and categories. In all the papers examined, 2,466 pieces of hate speech were identified about 48 different groups.

In the report, Jews, Syrians and Greeks stand out among the 15 groups that were identified as the victims of the most hate speech. While Syrian immigrants seemed to linked with criminal events such as murder, theft and harassment in the media. They have also been depicted as the main source of security issues, the reasons for negative economic developments and the essential responsibility behind the high ratio of unemployment and have been shown as a threat to Turkey’s demographic structure. Particularly Syrian women immigrants have been identified as a threat to the the family and the community in the Turkish media.

The report also shows that either close to the Islamist government or Turkish nationalists the media outlets of Yeni Akit, Milli Gazete, Yeni Çağ, Yeni Mesaj and Diriliş Postası used the most discriminating language over different ethnic and religious groups.

It is also revealed that Jews were targeted in 493 articles, Syrians in 472, Greeks in 256 and Armenians in 247. While Anti-Christian language was used in 177 articles, 54 articles targeted over Buddhists. Jewish society was illustrated as violent and hostile, and Jews’ identity was targeted through representing them as a ‘secret’ power in ‘conspiracy theories’ and shown as a threat to Turkey. The word “Jewishness” was also used as an expression of insult.

According to the report, the prominent items of the hate speech are closely linked with the diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Germany on May 15 this year, diplomatic crisis of Gulf countries with Qatar on June 5, judgement of the Dutch Court of Appeals against the Srebrenica massacre on June 27, Cypriot conference in Geneva on June 28 and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts in the month of July.

Meanwhile, the systematic and widespread hate speeches targeting the followers of the Gülen movement and Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen were not mentioned in the report of the Hrant Dink Foundation yet even though the Islamic preacher lead civic movement was slammed massively by Turkish newspapers and news sites all over the years. The media has accused the movement each passing day.

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