29 September 2006

1058) Leader of Turkish Armenian community writes Erdogan about concerns

The leader of the Armenian Orthodox community in Turkey, Patriarch Mesrob II, has written a letter to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressing discomfort with what he called the "indexing of the Armenian communities' concerns on those of the Greek Orthodox community." Mesrob II's letter comes following a week . . in which the subject of "reciprocity" between Turkey and Greece on the subject of the internal treatment of eachothers' ethnic minorities has been a focus of parliamentary debate.

In his letter to Erdogan, Mesrob II expressed the following: "The Armenian community is seriously concerned that its matters are being indexed on those of the Greek Orthodox community.....We think that we are being victimized on account of struggles between Turkey and Greece."

Mesrob II also touched on the question of education for children of Armenian citizenship living in Turkey, noting that due to tolerance displayed by the leaders of the Turkish Republic, there are currently 30 to 40 thousand Armenian citizens living here. The religious leader pushed Erdogan to allow the children of Armenian citizens to be allowed to study in Armenian schools under the provision of the National Education Ministry, which are currently only for citizens of the Turkish Republic.


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