Turkey Must Protect Priests

An artist, former politician and columnist Zulfu Livaneli of the mainstream daily Vatan wrote that from the killing of the Italian Priest Andrea Santoro in Trabzon to the Malatya massacre of three missionaries, and the stabbing of another priest in Ýzmir last month, the perpetrators have said that they wanted to be famous by killing a priest.

Livaneli wrote that many youngsters have these cheap heroic dreams and despite the fact that there is no criminal organization or secret group behind these incidents a dangerous environment exists. The columnist says that youth are brainwashed through media publications and are taught that killing priests is an act of 'nationalism', therefore 'dignified'.

Livaneli asks, “Have you ever heard that an imam was killed or that a German or Italian teenager who wanted to be famous stabbed a Muslim cleric?” and adds that the state has the obligation to protect non-Muslim clerics by placing them under police protection, as new education programs are launched to cleanse the young brains and to teach them what is right and wrong. Livaneli says that the media has a contribution to make to the process by proper and responsible broadcasts and publications.

Source: Vatan, Turkey, January 2, 2007

Posted at: 2008-01-04

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