A man attempted to set fire to the gate of the Dznunt Surp Asdvadzadzni Church in İstanbul’s Bakırköy district on Friday morning, according to Turkish media reports.
The Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople notified the police of the incident after the fire was quickly extinguished. It said the attack caused no casualties or material damage.
The Agos bilingual weekly newspaper quoted the İstanbul Governor’s Office as saying that a suspect named M.K. was apprehended by the police and that an investigation into the incident was under way.
M.K. said he wanted to set the church gate on fire because “they created the coronavirus pandemic,” apparently referring to Armenians or non-Muslims in general.
The church had been attacked in past years, and graffiti containing discriminatory and hate speech had been painted on its door.