(JTA) — The mayor of the second largest Greek city was attacked by far-right protesters during a ceremony honoring Greek victims of purges carried out by Turks during World War I.
The protesters kicked him in the head and legs and beat him with bottles during the ceremony on Saturday, sending him to the hospital.
Two people were arrested in the attack on Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris, police said on Sunday. Police are looking for more suspects, the Associated Press reported. The Greek government blamed the beating on “extreme-right thugs.”
Boutaris, an advocate for multiculturalism, is a frequent target of the far-right in Greece, which have called him “a slave of the Jews.”
The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party called the attack “popular rage” against his support of Turkey.
A local photographer who witnessed the attack on Boutaris told Al Jazeera that people at the ceremony “started to shout at him for his opinion on the Macedonian dispute, the LBGTQI community, Turkey, and [nationalist] football clubs.” He added that: “Some people were shouting about Jews because he has had [a] close relationship with the Jewish community over the years.”