A man who broke the cross off an Armenian church in Turkey’s commercial capital Istanbul has been jailed for five years and four months.
The Istanbul Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor’s office on Friday sentenced Mazlum Serin to a jail term after he climbed the Surp Krikor Lusavoric Armenian Church’s fence and removed the cross from the property and threw it on to the pavement on 23 May.
Video footage shows Serin as he climbs the church fence, he was arrested a week later on 29 May and charged with “damaging places of worship and cemeteries”.
During the investigation, Serin reportedly said: “I was just angry that day, I didn’t plan or intend to harm the church, I respect all religions.”
According to a police statement, Serin has previously been in trouble with the law.