Racist graffiti has been written on the wall of the Armenian Surp Takavor Church in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district, weekly newspaper Agos has reported.
Graffiti reading “This homeland is ours” was inscribed on the wall and a pile of trash was also dumped in front of the church’s door.
Upon examination of CCTV footage, church officials found that a person who had come to the church a day before the incident during a religious service had exhibited suspicious behavior was responsible for the graffiti and trash.
The CCTV records have been handed over to the police and an investigation has been launched, Agos reported.
Kadıköy Municipality condemned what it described as a “racist attack” in a Twitter post, saying the necessary work has been initiated to clear the writing and remove the trash.
A suspect was detained on May 1 but was reportedly released a day later under judicial control by a court.
Police captured the identified suspect in a derelict building, where he was hiding. The suspect reportedly has psychological problems and had attempted to commit suicide twice before the attack.
In his testimony the suspect said he painted the graffiti on the church’s wall “because officials in the church behaved badly.”
On May 1, the Interior Ministry released a statement condemning the graffiti attack as “unacceptable vandalism.”