Coordinates: 41°02′13″N 28°59′09″E / 41.03694°N 28.98583°E / 41.03694; 28.98583

Anti-Armenian Rally in Taksim Square
Participants 20,000 protestors including Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin and Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu
Location TurkeyTaksim Square, Istanbul, Turkey

February 26, 2012 (2012-02-26)

The Anti-Armenian Protests in Istanbul was initially a rally held at Taksim Square to commemorate the Khojaly massacre. However the commemoration turned into an Anti-Armenian demonstration containing hate speech and threats towards Armenia and Armenians.[1][2][3][4] Chants and slogans during the demonstration include: "You are all Armenian, you are all bastards", "bastards of Hrant can not scare us", "Taksim Square today, Yerevan Tomorrow: We will descend upon you suddenly in the night", and "Let Armenia be gone."'[5][1][2][6][7][8]


The demonstration was held in Taksim Square on February 26, 2012 at 2:00PM in the afternoon.[1] Nationalist organizations and political parties attended the protest such as the Nationalist Movement Party, Ulku Ocaklari, and the Alperen Ocaklari (a youth branch of the far right Islamic Great Union Party party).[1] Security was heightened around the Greek and French consulates in the vicinity and the road leading towards the Agos newspaper office was blocked off.[1][9] As many as 20,000 people participated in the demonstration.[2][10] However, organizers of the protest claim that it was 100,000.[11]

Chants and slogans during the demonstration include: "You are all Armenian, you are all bastards", "bastards of Hrant can not scare us", "Today, Taksim, Tomorrow, Yerevan: We will descend upon you suddenly in the night", and "Let Armenia be gone."[4][3] Some chants included the praise and support of Ogun Samast, the convicted assassin of ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.[3]

Among the participants were Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin and Istanbul governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu.[12][13] İdris Naim Şahin was quoted as saying during his speech at the square, "There has never been a stage for such a courageous, honored, determined, peaceful and brotherly meeting. I salute you! Welcome, shall your unity be everlasting!"[14][15] The Interior Minister and the protest organizers have yet to issue a formal apology.[16]

According to statements made by the protest organizers, similar demonstrations have been made in more than 50 cities in Turkey.[2] Throughout Turkey, many of these rallies took a similar tone such as the demonstrations at the Süleyman Demirel University in Isparta where students of the university were reported to be chanting "Mount Ararat will become your grave" and other racist slogans.[17]


The Armenian National Committee of America condemned the rally and urged Turkish Ambassador of America Francis Ricciardone to immediately condemn the demonstration.[18][19] The Agos bi-lingual Turkish Armenian newspaper similarly condemned the demonstrations and organized a reactionary march on March 4 calling for an end to racism and brotherhood for all peoples.[20]

The Union of Socialist Azerbaijanis of Turkey issued a statement noting that the events surrounding the Khojali demonstrations should not be used "as a tool to deny the Armenian Genocide". A union member also stated in an interview with the Taraf newspaper that the government of Azerbaijan had subsidised the travel costs for some of the participants in the demonstration at a cost of about US$ 2 million.[21]


On 18 April 2012 the police in Istanbul arrested nine people in connection to the protests. The detained explained to the police that they were handed the offending banners by people unknown to them just before the start of the demonstrations. The nine were subsequently released.[22]

External Links

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Azeris mark 20th anniversary of Khojaly Massacre in Istanbul". Hurriyet. February/26/2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012. "One banner carried by dozens of protestors said, “You are all Armenians, you are all bastards.”" 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Inciting Hatred: Turkish Protesters Call Armenians ‘Bastards’". Asbarez. February 28th, 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012. "‘Mount Ararat will Become Your Grave’ Chant Turkish Students" 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Khojaly Massacre Protests gone wrong in Istanbul: ‘ You are all Armenian, you are all bastards ‘". National Turk. 28 February, 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Protests in Istanbul: "You are all Armenian, you are all bastards"". LBC International. 26-02-2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  5. "“Hepiniz ermənisiniz, hepiniz piçsiniz” deyənləri 3 il həbs gözləyir" (in Azerbaycani). Qafqaz Info. 4/20/2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  6. Racism at Taksim: You are all Armenian, you are all Bastards!. Radikal. Retrieved on 22 December 2012.
  7. Ince, Elif (02/27/2012). "In Taksim just hating was not enough" (in Turkish). Radikal. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  8. Ayazoglu, Serkan (Feb. 27, 2012). "Hepiniz Ermenisiniz Hepiniz Piçsiniz" (in Turkish). Haksoz Haber. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  9. Akyol, Mustafa (March/03/2012). Insulting Armenianness. Hurriyet. Retrieved on 26 December 2012.
  10. "20,000 protestors mark Karabakh in Istanbul". Emirates 24/7. February 26, 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  11. "Investigation launched into racist slogans in İstanbul’s Khojaly rally". Zaman. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  12. "NGO files complaint against minister". Hurriyet. February/29/2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  13. "You are all Armenians, you are all Bastards!". haberruzgari. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  14. "The Interior Minister enticed the crowd". Demokratik Haber. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  15. "Turkey Special: The Government Supports a Hyper-Nationalist --- and Threatening --- Protest". enduringamerica. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  16. "Hocalı katliamının 20. yıldönümü nedeniyle düzenlenen mitingde açılan “Hepiniz Ermeni’siniz, hepiniz piçsiniz” ırkçı pankartını yargı affetmedi" (in Turkish). Haberturk. April 20, 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  17. "Translated from Turkish: And if a University Could Do This!" (in Turkish). Radikal. 27/02/2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  19. "ANCA Condemns Anti-Armenian Protests in Turkey". Armenian Weekly. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  20. "Nefret Sizin Insanlik Bizim" (in Turkish). Bianet. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  21. "Azerbaijan spends $2 million for anti-Armenian protest in Istanbul". February 29, 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  22. "Nine anti-Armenian protesters detained in Turkey". hurriyetdailynews. April/18/2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
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