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Armenian Women in Istanbul Subject to Racist Attacks

The attacks on elderly Armenian women in Samatya show that racism is alive in Turkey as a latent threat, but also serves as a demonstration that Turkey now has a civil society that immediately stands up against racism, writes Cengiz Çandar.
Armenian women, members of Turkey's Armenian community, pray during a Sunday mass at the Surp Asdvadzadzin Patriarchal Church in Istanbul October 11, 2009. Turkey signed accords to normalise ties with Armenia in Switzerland on Saturday in a step towards ending a century of hostility. REUTERS/Murad Sezer (TURKEY POLITICS RELIGION) - RTXPJ2K
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is fond of reiterating a line by 13th century Turkish Sufi poet Yunus Emre: “I love the Created because of the Creator.” While Yunus Emre’s immortal words express the divine love for God, the central idea of Sufism, Erdogan uses them to describe what a great sense of tolerance his government, his party and himself have for “the Other,” especially ethnic and non-Muslim minorities.  

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