Hate speech in Turkish media mainly targeted Armenians between January and April

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Among the 2,265 columns and news stories that include hate speech based on ethnicity, nationality or religious affiliation in the Turkish media, Armenians have become the most targeted ethnic group with 671 media pieces between January and April, according to a report titled “Hate Speech in Media” published by the Hrant Dink Foundation.

The report said 76 groups were subjected to some 3,000 different kinds of hate speech by 105 media outlets, according to the Şalom daily.

Armenians were followed by Jews with 427 instances of hate speech, then Greeks, Syrians, Greek Turks and Christians.

The hate speech against Armenians increased in February due to the anniversary of the Khojaly massacre carried out by the Armenian military on ethnic Azerbaijanis in the village of Khojaly, part of Azerbaijan but claimed by Armenia, and in April, on the anniversary of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.

Turkish authorities do not recognize as genocide the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 during the final days of the Ottoman Empire.

The hate speech against Jews increased during the US Embassy opening in Jerusalem in May as media content mixing criticism of Israeli politics with insulting the Jewish people emerged, according to Şalom.

In the 2017 report, Jews were the most targeted group in Turkey.

Media content with hate speech was published by 41 percent of the national media in Turkey and by 59 percent of local media. The top three national newspapers producing hate speech were the pro-government Yeni Akit, the Islamist Milli Gazete and the ultranationalist Yeniçağ dailies.

According to experts, some Turkish media have been using discriminatory language when referring to the government’s financial support for Syrian migrants, who were also subjected to hate speech when a migrant committed a crime, Euronews reported in May.

Some 3.5 million Syrians have taken refuge in Turkey after escaping war-torn Syria.

The Hrant Dink Foundation was established 11 years ago, dedicated to the memory of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was murdered by a nationalist assassin on Jan. 19, 2007 amid a smear campaign targeting him.

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