Turkey exterminated or exiled millions of its Christian citizens 102 years ago, between 1914 and 1923. The subsequent Turkish governments have turned to Kurds as their new targets. Kurds are daily attacked, threatened and even murdered in Turkey.
The northern Turkish city of Sinop has recently witnessed yet another anti-Kurdish attack that began on Sept. 11.
Due to the rising tension and conflicts in the Duragan district in the city, many houses, workplaces and vehicles have been damaged. The police and gendarmerie forces have been deployed to the area, where “a curfew” was also imposed for a day on Sept. 11. Seventeen people have reportedly been taken into police custody  and 15 have been wounded. Soner Kara, 17, lost his life on Sept. 13.
The local administrators of the three Kurdish villages have been suspended  for “being responsible for the escalation of the incidents.” According to initial news reports, the conflict began  with non-political or non-ethnic reasons, due to some “receivables and payables” issues between a Kurdish villager and a Turkish shopkeeper. Nazim Mavis, a member of parliament of Sinop from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), also announced  that the incident “did not begin for a political, ideological, or ethnic reason.”
Although it had started due to non-political reasons, the confrontation was shortly turned into an ethnic strife − with Turkish nationalists spreading violence throughout the entire district. This violence was filmed on camera  by some residents of the neighborhood and published on social media.
Turkish groups – with sticks and guns in their hands – shouted the jihadist rallying cry “Allahu akbar,” as well as nationalist slogans such as “Everything for the homeland,” “These are the footsteps of the Turks,” “Duragan is ours and will remain ours,” “We don’t want the bastards of the PKK here” and the Kemalist motto “How happy is one who says I am a Turk!” and tried to march into the neighborhoods and villages in which Kurds reside.
On the first day of the incidents, Turan Sogukoluk, the district governor of Duragan, said  to the Turkish crowd, “We will go to those villages and see who is living there. And based on the order of the prosecutor and the lists of names you will give to us, we will take action.”
Some Turkish nationalists were heard saying in a video ,
They say “Kurdistan” – they are shouting slogans for Apo [PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan]. One or two people [Kurds] should die. They must definitely die. Until somebody dies, this issue will not be settled.
As long as they don’t take Kurds out of here, the blood will not stop, neither the fights nor conflicts. Take them out of here! Take them to the southeast!
Although the Turkish mainstream media attempted to distort the facts surrounding the incidents and claim that the motive behind the violence was completely “non-political,” the incident appears to be yet another attempt to lynch Kurds in Turkey.
In a video, a Turkish resident of the city is shown shouting at a Turkish commander, saying , “Commander! Do you have the power not to allow them [the Kurds] into Duragan?”
Some other statements made by Turks include:
“This is not [the Kurdish cities of] Sirnak or Cizre. We don’t want  them [Kurds] here.”
“There is no place for Kurdistan here. Send them  to Kurdistan!”
Bulent Kucuk, the co-head of the Sinop branch of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), told  the Bianet news agency, “Anger towards Kurds in this district is not a recent issue. It has been like that all along. Fights have broken out between Turks and Kurds in this region due to varied reasons for a long time. But in this incident, among those who want to march to Kurdish villages shouting chauvinistic, racist slogans are people coming from outside of the city, as well. Right now, entry to and exit from the village is forbidden.”
There are approximately 14 Kurdish villages in the districts of Duragan and Boyabat in Sinop, where roughly 30,000 Kurds reside, according to the Kurdish news agency JINHA.
A Kurd in the city named Ahmet spoke to JINHA , saying that, “Because we are Kurdish, we offend the eye. It is their usual behavior. When we say ‘Kurd,’ they cannot help but treat us as if we are second-class citizens. We are waiting; everybody is waiting. The Kurds in the district wanted to leave due to the risk of being lynched.
“This is outright discrimination,” he added. “They are the ones who separate us based on Turkishness and Kurdishness. Entry to and exit from the village of Olukbasi is now forbidden. We cannot contact our friends and relatives. We’ve heard that they have made the houses of our Kurdish friends in Duragan unusable. We cannot go outside. We cannot make our voices heard.”
Greeks and Armenians of Sinop between 1914 and 1923
Sinop is today a majority-Turkish city with a population of 200,000 people. But the city – whose name comes from the Greek word Sinope – was an ancient Greek city in the Pontos region on the Black Sea.
The author Olga Balytnikova-Rakitianskaia wrote , “The first Greek settlements appeared [in Pontos] as early as 800 B.C. They were founded by Ionian Greeks, natives of Attica, Anatolia and the islands of the Aegean. The first city, Sinop, was built in 785 B.C. Very soon, not only the southern, but also the northern Black Sea coast was completely Hellenized. Many renowned Greek men of antiquity, such as Diogenes and Strabo, were born and raised in southern Pontus.”
According to the website Pontos World, Sinop remained  under Byzantine administration until the middle of the 11th century, at which time it was seized by the Turkish emir Hartik and then fell to the Seljuk Turks in 1214. The city was then annexed by the Ottomans In 1462.
“The Ottoman sultan Mohammed II forced many of the Greek residents to flee [to Constantinople] so that he could populate the town with his own people.”
Yet the Greek Orthodox presence in the city remained for centuries until the 1914-1923 Greek genocide: “Prior to 1914,” Pontos World  reported, “Sinop was inhabited by 9,000 Muslims and 5,000 Greeks. The number of Greeks living in the surrounding villages was 5,000. Many of these Greeks became victims of the Greek genocide . Those who survived were resettled in Greece as part of the exchange of populations  between Greece and Turkey.”
Herr Kuchhoff, the German consul in Amissos (Amasya), wrote  in a dispatch to Berlin on July 16, 1916: “The entire Greek population of Sinop and the coastal region of the county of Kastanome has been exiled. Exile and extermination in Turkish are the same, for whoever is not murdered, will die from hunger or illness.”
The Armenians in the city were also targeted in the same period.
In her book “Denial of Violence ,” Turkish Professor Fatma Muge Gocek provides detailed accounts that describe the Ottoman Turkish Party “Committee of Union and Progress” violence against the Armenians in the Black Sea cities in Turkey, including Sinop, during the 1915 Armenian genocide.
Today, there is neither a Greek nor an Armenian community in Sinop.
The Turks did not want to coexist with indigenous Greeks and Armenians, and 102 years ago, they exterminated them. Today, many of them declare that they do not want to live with Kurds, and try to attack their villages and districts.
It seems that “peaceful coexistence” with people of other ethnic or religious backgrounds is a foreign concept that has not yet penetrated into the consciousness of many Turks.