« Unknown perpetrators vandalized Jewish graves in the Hasköy Cemetery in Beyoğlu, İstanbul » reports Bianet
Thirty-six gravestones were damaged in the attack, according to the Foundation of Chief Rabbinate of Turkey. Sharing photos from the cemetery, the foundation said the perpetrators had entered the cemetery at midnight.
« We expect those who did this act of vandalism to be caught as soon as possible, » it said.
Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın denounced the « heinous » attack in a Twitter post.
« We will never allow those who attack sacred values and try to plant seeds of chaos and enmity in our society, » he wrote.
The assailants may face up to four years in prison for attacking a cemetery, according to the Turkish Penal Code.,
Article 153 – Damaging Places of Worship and Cemeteries
(1) Any person who damages the buildings, associated buildings (or structures upon such) of a place of worship or the removable property therein, or a structure with the purpose of protecting a cemetery by destroying, damaging or breaking such, shall be sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment for a term of one to four years.
(2) Any person who soils the places or structures listed in the first paragraph shall be sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment for a term of three months to one year, or a judicial fine.
(3) Where the offenses in paragraphs one and two are committed with the aim of defaming a related religious group, then the penalty shall be increased by one third.
Bianet English, July 15, 2022