Public outrage leads AKP municipality in central Turkey to remove posters targeting Jews, Christians

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) municipality of Turkey’s central province of Konya has removed billboard signs containing an anti-Jewish and anti-Christian message following public outrage over the posters.

The posters, which contained a verse from the Qur’an calling upon believers to abstain from befriending Christians and Jews, were removed from bus stops in the conservative province following strong backlash over what pundits have called hate speech, pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Garo Paylan said.

The posters sparked fury earlier this week with many taking to social media to voice their frustration over the Konya municipality.

The pressure brought on by the solidarity in voices across Turkey’s religious spectrum resulted in the removal of the hateful message, Brooklyn College professor and Turkey analyst Louis Fishman said. 

Konya is known as Turkey's most culturally conservative city, where the ruling AKP won the March local elections with over 70 percent support.

Turkey is home to between 200,000 to 320,000 Christians and approximately 12,000 Jews.