Vandals broke into a Jewish cemetery in Istanbul overnight and smashed dozens of headstones, the local Jewish community said Friday.
He said in a Twitter post that headstones had been destroyed in Haskoy Cemetery, sharing photos of the vandalism.
“The case has been forwarded to the relevant authorities with all night photos and recordings, and we expect the perpetrators of this vandalism to be arrested as soon as possible,” he added.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu took to Twitter to condemn the “heinous” attack.
“Two of the perpetrators have been arrested thanks to the meticulous work of our Istanbul Police Department, the investigation continues,” he said.
“Those who try to disrupt our unity and solidarity with such provocative attacks will never be allowed” to succeed, he added.
Istanbul’s governor’s office said in a statement that five minors between the ages of 11 and 13 were responsible for destroying the 81 headstones in the Jewish cemetery.
“Following the review of security camera footage, it was determined that 81 headstones were destroyed in the cemetery and that the incident was perpetrated by children between the ages of 11 and 13,” a- he declared.
The suspects “have been apprehended and the investigation is continuing. We extend our best wishes to our Jewish citizens.
Christian and Jewish cemeteries in Turkey are regularly the target of vandalism in this predominantly Muslim country.
In 2020, graves in an Armenian cemetery in the capital Ankara were desecrated.
About 15,000 Jews live in Turkey today, with the majority located in Istanbul, the country’s largest city.
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