The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue calls the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief to investigate Turkey’s insistence on eradicating Armenians in Karabakh Region and prosecuting Christians
The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue calls Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, the Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to investigate kindling conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan by Turkey to eradicate the Armenian sect lives in Karabakh Region which has been disputed many decades ago. In its message to the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, FDHRD said that there are many evidences of targeting the Armenian sect by Turkey, the sect which lives in the disputed- upon Karabakh Region and whose number reaches 145 thousands of orthodox Christian Armenian. This is by Turkish support to the Azerbaijani army with destructive weapons which have been used intensively against civilians resulted in victims and injured and pushing hundreds of them to leave the region in a scene which brings back the memory of Armenian genocide in 1915 when million and half Armenians were killed.
Also Armenia has officially accused Turkey of supporting Azerbaijan with developed weapons along with military experts and transporting thousands of Syrian mercenaries to participate in the attack against Karabakh. International media means have assured the death of tens of armed Syrians on Azerbaijani frontlines with Armenians fighters. In addition, they assured that Azerbaijan and Turkey’s goal is genocide of Armenians and that they have evidences of Turkish military support to Azerbaijani forces with fighting jets, unmanned aircrafts and other military equipment in addition to sending military consultants, mercenaries and terrorists. All of these equipment and personnel were used in shelling civilians in order to getting rid of the Christian majority which inhabit the region and to change its demographics.
Moreover, the French president Emmanuel Macron has accused Turkey of transporting 300 fighters of extremist groups in Syria to Azerbaijan as he urged NATO to directly review and consider what is committed by Turkey as being a member.
In a previous report about religious freedoms in Turkey, the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue has monitored many evidences of systematic prosecution by Turkish regime against Christian minority; the most prominent of which was turning Hagia Sophia Church from a museum to a mosque; the matter which was denounced by all churches all over the world. In addition, Turkey closed the Greek Orthodox Theological Institute claiming that the Greek government is unable to guarantee religious freedom for their Muslim Turkish minority. Also it was noticed that during the Christmas holiday there was an increase of hatred speech against some Protestant churches and media means which investigate some certain places of worship to fear believers who wanted to attend Christmas celebrations. Besides, the Turkish regime follow the policy of unjustified intervention in the internal affairs of religious sects by preventing the election of board members of non-Muslim institutions and imposing new restrictions on long-awaited elections of the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church. In November 2019, the Supreme Court of Turkey issued a decision of turning Chora Kariye museum, which was a previous Greek Orthodox, to mosque. Also some churches such as Kurtulus Church in Malatya, Balikesir Church and Kadikoy International Church (Istanbul) were attacked by breaking windows and drawing offensive cartoons on their walls. Also in March 2017, threats to Shema Radio in Ankara were sent to kill a Christian announcer so since then the station and its manager have greater protection by the police.
The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue calls Mr. Ahmed Shaheed as being the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief in the UN Human Rights Commission to carry out his mandate and commitments of Human Rights Council decision 37/6 and investigate the systematic prosecution against religious minority by the Turkish regime in addition to spreading religious intolerance all over the county and defining the current and new obstacles in front of enjoying right to freedom of religion or belief and means of removing those obstacles and continuing his efforts to study governmental incidents and measures which contradict with the provisions of Declaration of Elimination of all forms of Religion or Belief-based Intolerance and Discrimination, taking necessary measures as appropriate. Also FDHRD calls the special rapporteur to visit Turkey to investigate and submit his report to Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly to work upon stopping such systematic violations against religious freedoms because of Turkish government practices which encourage intolerance and hatred against others.