A convoy of honking cars covered in Azeri and Turkish flags was this time seen touring Istanbul’s Fener and Balat neighborhoods, which were once home to the city’s Jewish, Greek and Armenian populations.
A video shared on Twitter by journalist Melike Çapan shows several cars passing while blaring their horns.
“Those who formed a convoy yesterday in front of the Armenian Patriarchate are today on Fener-Balat streets,” Çapan said, calling on the Turkish Interior Ministry and police forces to take the necessary precautions and protect the citizens living there.
This is not the first time that such a demonstration took place amid the heightened pro-Azerbaijan sentiment in the country. On Sept. 28, a convoy of cars flying Azeri flags held a protest in Kumkapı quarter, prompting concerns on social media. Kumkapı is where the Armenian Patriarchate is located and where most Armenian migrants live.
Following this Sept. 28 demonstration, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Garo Paylan demanded that the government address “hate crimes” and called this action a “provocation.”
The government on the same day released a statement saying that it will not allow Armenians to be threatened.
“Those who threaten or harass a part of Turkey’s citizens are making provocations. That’s harming the country. Turkey is a safe country. Turkey is a state of law. The Turkish Republic won’t allow discrimination among its citizens,” ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik said late on Sept. 28.
The two demonstrations came after clashes erupted between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. The two sides have been pounding each other with rockets and artillery in the fiercest round of the decades-old conflict in more than a quarter of a century.
Turkey has said it will support Azerbaijan in the clashes. It sharply criticized Armenia and indicated that Yerevan was an obstacle to peace.