Attackers Stone Turkish Church

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    UNIDENTIFIED attackers threw stones at a church in the northern Turkish town of Samsun in the latest attack on Christians in predominantly Muslim Turkey.

    Windows were broken but Mehmet Orhan Picakcilar, a priest at the Agape Church, was quoted as saying there were no casualties.

    “This does damage to Turkey. This attack depicts Turkey in a bad way before international public opinion,” Mr Picakcilar said.

    The attack happened hours after a nationalist protester with a handgun made a brief attempt to hijack a commuter ferry in the Dardanelles strait on Saturday.

    Passengers said he had been angered by pro-Armenian sentiment in Turkey after the January 19 killing of the Turkish-Armenian editor Hrant Dink, which prompted large pro-Armenian protests.

    Growing nationalism among young people from Turkey's Black Sea towns has come under the spotlight since the teenager suspected of killing Dink and his alleged supporters were found to have come from the town of Trabzon.

    A Catholic priest was killed in his church in Trabzon last February by a Turkish teenager. The killing was believed to have been part of protests in Islamic countries against cartoons in Danish newspapers that mocked Prophet Mohammad.

    Christians in secular Turkey – Armenians, Greeks, Syriacs, Catholics, some Evangelical denominations and Jehovah's Witnesses – make up less than one per cent of the country's 72 million people.…5006506,00.html

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