ANOTHER VIOLENT ATTACK ON ARMENIANS IN SAMATYA


Sultan Aykar, a 83 year old Armenian woman, was severely attacked in
Istanbul's Samatya district on Tuesday evening, raising the number of
violent attacks against elderly Armenian women to at least four in
recent months.

http://www.bianet.org/english/minorities/143821-another-violent-attack-on-armenians-in-samatya
Nilay VARDAR [email protected]
─░stanbul - BIA News Desk 24 January 2013, Thursday

Sultan Aykar, a 83 year old Armenian woman, was severely attacked in
Istanbul's Samatya district on Tuesday evening, leaving her lose
vision in one eye.

Recently, 3 other attacks were reported on elderly Armenian women in
Istanbul's Samatya neighborhood, where Armenian women were either
killed, severely battered or attempted to be kidnapped.

"My mother was about to enter her ground-floor apartment. She then saw
an intruder who attacked her as she unlocked her apartment door. She
fell. Hearing her screams, neighbors came down, scaring off the masked
man," Gulseren Aykar, victim's daughter, told bianet.

The victim has been been hospitalized after the incident, with doctors
saying that she lost vision in one of her eyes due to a severe damage.

"The intruder was 35-40 year old slender man with grey hair who was
dressed in black and wearing a snow mask," victim's neighbors told
police.

The police is now investigating whether all four attacks are linked together.

"Attacks target Armenians"

Menzar Etik, victim's daughter, said they were horrified by the
indident and decided to do security check on her mother on a daily
basis.

"She is just a quite and peaceful woman. The suspect did not try to
rob her. So the intention was not to steal her possessions. She only
had a broken TV in her apartment anyways."

Gulseren Aykar, on the other hand, claimed that attacks exclusively
targeted Armenians in Istanbul.

"What are the gains of killing an elderly woman? It is said that we
[Armenians] are equal [with Turks]. But whenever a dispute takes
place, our origins are promptly mentioned. You can't even argue with
your neighbors confidently if you are Armenian."

Karin Etik, victim's granddaughter said she believed recent attacks
exclusively targeted Armenians and demanded tightening of security
measures in Armenian populated neighborhoods.

Worries amid neighborhood residents

Neighborhood residents around Surp Kevrok Church also expressed their
concerns on the recent incidents.

Elderly man of Muslim and Christian origin sitting in coffee houses
together said the attacks raised fear in the neighborhood.

"We are so surprised. We don't know if it is organized crime or just
work of a psychopath," one man said.

Another man with Armenian origin said they are struggling to
understand whether someone was aiming to cause terror in the
neighborhood.

Locals generally believe that attacks did not aim burglary, as no
items were reported stolen in the incidents. They also tightened up
their personal security measures, locking up doors and gazing
strangers in the neighborhood.

"God protect us. What can we do other than locking up our doors?" said
an Armenian woman.

3 previous attacks on Armenians

On December 28, Maritsa Kucuk (84) was found stabbed to death in her
Samatya apartment where she was living alone for years.

In early December, another woman (87) with Armenian descendant was
found battered in her Samatya apartment. She was hospitalized for two
week and lost vision in one of her eyes.

On January 6, the Apostolic Christmas, another woman with Armenian
origin was saved from 3 individuals who attempted to kidnap her. While
the suspects have not be caught, locals said the suspects tried to
deceive the victim over a payment issues.

Police investigation on three cases yielded no concrete results. (NV)