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Hate Speech Report: Jews, Armenians and Syrian Refugees Most Targeted Groups in 2018

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The Hrant Dink Foundation has released the Hate Speech and Discriminatory Discourse Report 2018. the report, which has been published yearly since 2009, found 4839 column articles and news reports targeting national, ethnic and religious groups in 2018.

Hate speech items against more than one group were found in 205 articles. The report found 6,517 hate speech items against 98 different groups.

Most targeted groups

Images: Hrant Dink Foundation

Jews were the most targeted groups with 1133 articles. They were presented as “a secret power behind various conspiracies” and a threat against Turkey’s national security. In the news reports on Israel-Palestine conflict and tensions regarding the al-Aqsa Mosque, Jews, as a society were identified with violence.

Armenians were the second-most targeted group with 973 hate speech items. In the articles on the Khojaly Massacre and April 24 Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, they were associated with violence and massacres. The Armenians were also identified with terrorism through the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA).

Syrian refugees, the third-most targeted group with hate speech with 918 items, were systematically mentioned in the media for criminal events such as murder, theft and harassment and thus coded as potential criminals. Identified with security problems and terrorism, Syrian refugees in Turkey were presented as responsible for the negative economic trends and unemployment, and as a threat to Turkey’s demographic structure.

Distribution by genre, newspaper and category

According to the report, 2577 of the articles examined were column articles and 2045 of them were news reports.

Forty percent (1,952) of hate speech items were found in national newspapers and 60 percent (2,887) in local newspapers.

The 15 national newspapers that contained most hate speech items are: Yeni Akit (284), Milli Gazete (161), Yeni Çağ (118), Milat (110), Diriliş Postası (90), Yeni Mesaj (84), Yeni Söz (83), Sözcü (76), Ortadoğu (69), Aydınlık (67), Yeni Şafak (67), Önce Vatan (66), Doğu Haber (61), Güneş (60), Türkiye (53).

The 10 local newspapers that contained most hate speech items are: Yeni Konya (120), İstiklal (62), Samsun Denge (43), Ankara Anadolu Gazetesi (34), Mersin İmece (33), Kayseri Star Haber (30), Bizim Anadolu Gazetesi (29), İslahiye’nin Sesi (28), Yeni Dönem (26), Siirt (25).

Emircan Saç from the “Monitoring of Hate Speech in the Media Project” evaluated the report for bianet.

Stating that hate speeches are generally produced in accordance with the country’s agenda, Saç said, “It is not very accurate to say that [hate] discourse have increased or decreased compared to the previous years, but if we try to read it through the [country’s] agenda, 2018 was a year of clashes in elections and international relations. In this year, yes, we can say that hate speech was produced more than the past years.”

Emphasizing that peace journalism is possible, Saç said, “But this is not possible except rational journalism. Emotion-oriented journalism leads to the production of new hate speech, as in the case of Syrian refugees.” (HA/VK)


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