Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) İstanbul MP Garo Paylan has submitted a parliamentary inquiry regarding Saint Maria Catholic Church in Trabzon, which was attacked by an armed person on March 6, and requested that Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu respond to the inquiry.
In the inquiry, Paylan has referred to the previous attacks directed against the church and said, "It has been reflected in the press that an armed attack was carried out against Saint Maria Catholic Church, which is located in Kamerkaya Neighborhood in Trabzon and whose serving priest Andrea Santoro was murdered 12 years ago. Trabzon Provincial Security Directorate was also informed about an incident where the same church was attempted to be burned in February 2018. After the incident, the Governorate of Trabzon issued a statement (...) and meticulous efforts are being made to catch the perpetrator or perpetrators of the incident. All possible precautions are being taken by the relevant institutions."
"Attacks against the church have continued sporadically"
In the inquiry, Paylan has emphasized that "after the priest Santoro was murdered in an armed attack in 2006, attacks against Saint Maria Catholic Church have continued sporadically." Paylan has also added,
"In January 2011, the church was threatened on the ground that its cross had been illuminated; in one of the bottles thrown at the church, there was a note which read 'Either you take down the cross on top of the church or we will.' After the July 15 2016 coup attempt, a group of people protesting the coup attempt attacked the church by chanting Allahu Akbar, they broke the windows of the church by throwing paving stones and they attempted to break the door of the church.
"Developments since 2006 have shown that attacks to the church have been systematically continuing."
With the parliamentary inquiry, Paylan has directed questions as to whether any investigation has been opened in relation with the attacks directed against Saint Maria Catholic Church in Trabzon; what Turkey-wide measures are taken for the security of Christians, who are systematically attacked and whose numbers in Trabzon have been diminishing since 2006 and whether any deterrent steps will be taken against the attacks directed to the cultural and religious places of Christians and Jews across Turkey. (PT/SD)
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