Secret Codes in National Minorities' ID documents in Turkey
06.08.2013
12:30
On August 6, 12:30 pm the Media Center hosted a Panel Discussion on recent revelation published in Agos newspaper regarding the secret codes in national minorities' ID documents in Turkey.

The keynote speakers of the discussion included turkologist Artak Shakaryan, journalist, turkologist Lilit Gasparyan, lawyer, historian and diplomat Ara Papian, IMC TV News Director Aris Nalci joined the discussion via Skype call. 
“We don’t know how Turkey will be using this information in different political situations. I’m starting to doubt that if the notorious protocol with Turkey is ratified Turkey will keep to its commitments. By the way, this case has a precedent, Armenians used to be coded with 031 which is considered to be an insulting code”, Ara Papian says.

He is sure that mass media is the first line of defense and the countries that lose in this battle are likely to lose in others. As for Armenia, its condition currently cannot be defined as favorable.

“The article was published on August 1, in two hours Turkish Radikal mentioned it, and Hürriyet referred to the issue in the evening. Armenian media started talking about it only on the next day. The story of the Turkish shepherd has been immediately disseminated by the Turkish side, whereas our Ministry of External Affairs is not able to use this tramp card”, Lilit Gasparyan notes.

She says any of the mentioned codes in the passport of somebody who appeared in the police may become a sufficient reason for returning one guilty, even in the absence of the fault.

“In 1916 Armenians were allowed to convert to Islam, but as this process became extensive a special decision was made about depriving Muslim Armenians of the right of movement. There were even families who have lost information on their origins, but the state never forgot. There is an example about a Turkish nationalist who had entered the military academy and was expelled from it after a year in spite of his outstanding achievements, only because he had Armenian origins he was not even aware of”, Artak Shakaryan says.

“Our elders have always had that fear but now it is officially confirmed that Armenians are “second rate” people here”, - Aris Nalci expresses concern, stressing that in spite of everything happening he doesn’t consider living anywhere else as Western Armenia is his homeland.

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