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Turkey's Tradition of Murdering Christians

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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 01 August 2016 - 09:59 AM

Gatestone Institute
July 30 2016

Turkey's Tradition of Murdering Christians

by Robert Jones
July 31, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • Turkey's countless agreements with Western organizations do not seem to have reduced the hatred for Christians there.

  • In Turkey, it is "ordinary people" who murder or attack Christians, then the judiciary or political system somehow find a way of enabling the perpetrators to get away with the crimes. Most of these crimes are not covered by the international media and Turkey is never held responsible.

  • While Muslims are pretty much free to practice their religion and express their views on other religions anywhere in the world, Christians and other non-Muslims can be killed in Turkey and other Muslim-majority countries just for attempting peacefully to practice their religion or openly express their views.

  • "Multiculturalism," which is passionately defended by many liberals in the West, could have worked wonders in multi-ethnic and multi-religious places such as Anatolia. But unfortunately, Islamic ideology allows only one culture, one religion, and one way of thinking under their rule: Islam. Ironically, this is the central fact these liberals do not want to see.

On 26 July, the northern French town of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray witnessed a horrific Islamist attack: Two Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists killed an 85-year-old priest, Jacques Hamel, in his church during Mass. Two nuns and two churchgoers were taken hostage.

The terrorists, who had pledged allegiance to ISIS and, shouting "Allahu Akbar", slit the throat of the priest and captured the bloody episode on video, according to a nun who escaped the assault.

Such Islamist attacks might be new to EU member countries but not to Turkey. For decades, so many innocent, defenseless Christians in Turkey have been slaughtered by Muslim assailants.

Christians in Turkey are still attacked, murdered or threatened daily; the assailants usually get away with their crimes.

In Malatya, in 2007, during the Zirve Bible Publishing House massacre, three Christian employees were attacked, severely tortured, then had their hands and feet tied and their throats cut by five Muslims on April 18, 2007.

Nine years have passed, but there still has been no justice for the families of the three men who were murdered so savagely.

First, the five suspects who were still in detention were released from their high-security prison by a Turkish court, which ruled that their detention exceeded newly-adopted legal limits.

The trial is still ongoing. The prosecutor claims that the act "was not a terrorist act because the perpetrators did not have a hierarchic bond, their act was not continuous and the knives they used in the massacre did not technically suffice to make the act be regarded as a terrorist act."

If the court accepts this legal opinion of the prosecutor, it could pave the way for an acquittal. However, given the many "mysterious" rulings of the Turkish judiciary system to acquit criminals, these killers could also be acquitted by a "surprise" ruling any time.

Ironically, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in March that it is necessary to redefine terrorism to include those who support such acts, adding that they could be journalists, lawmakers or activists. There was no difference, he said, between "a terrorist holding a gun or a bomb and those who use their position and pen to serve the aims" of terrorists.

In a country where state authorities are outspokenly so "sensitive" about "terrorism" and "people holding guns," why are the murderers of Christians not in jail, and why is the prosecutor trying to portray the murders of Christians as "non-terroristic acts"?

Sadly, the three Christians in Malatya were neither the first nor the last Christians to be murdered in Turkey.

On February 5, 2006, Father Andrea Santoro, a 61-year-old Roman Catholic priest, was murdered in the Santa Maria Church in the province of Trabzon. He was shot while kneeling in prayer at his church. Witnesses heard the 16-year-old murderer shout "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is the Greatest") during the murder.

After the murder, a 74-year-old priest, Father Pierre François René Brunissen, from Samsun, led the next church service in Santoro's church, which boasted barely a dozen members. Because no one volunteered to replace Santoro, Father Pierre was instructed to travel from Samsun to Trabzon each month to care for the city's small congregation.

"This is a terrible incident," Father Pierre said. "It is a sin to kill a person. After all of these incidents, I am worried about my life here."

In July, 2006, he was stabbed and wounded by a Muslim in Samsun. The perpetrator, 53, said that he stabbed the priest to oppose "his missionary activities."[1]

The attacks against the Christian culture in Anatolia continue in modern times -- even after Turkey joined the Council of Europe in 1949 and NATO in 1952.

Turkey's countless agreements with Western organizations do not seem to have reduced the hatred for Christians there. In March, 2007, as the Christian community of Mersin was preparing for the Easter, a young Muslim man with a kebab knife entered the church and attacked the priests, Roberto Ferrari and Henry Leylek.

Mersin, in southern Turkey, is home to Tarsus, the birthplace of Saint Paul, and to several churches dating from the earliest Christian era.

As the Christian roots of Anatolia weakened, so did its bonds with Western civilization. "The attack against the priest is an indicator that Ankara is not ready for Europe," a Roman Catholic Cardinal and theologian, Walter Kasper, told the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera. "There is some amount of tolerance but there is not real freedom. Turkey has to change many things. This change is not about laws. A change of mentality is needed. But you cannot change mentality in one day."

Bishop Luigi Padovese, Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, said: "We do not feel safe. I am very worried. Fanaticism is developing in some groups. Some people want to poison the atmosphere and catholic priests are targeted. Anti-missionary films are broadcast on TV channels."

At a commemorative ceremony for Father Santoro in February, Bishop Padovese said:

"Today, we are asking the question we asked four years ago: Why? We are also asking the same question for all other victims so unjustly murdered even though they were innocent. Why? What was it that they tried to destroy by murdering Father Andrea? Just a person or what that person represented? The aim of shooting Father Andrea was definitely to shoot a Catholic cleric. His being a Father became the reason of his martyrdom.

"The message of Christ on the cross is clear. 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.' Had they known, they would not have done that. It is wrong to extinguish a life to uphold an idea. It is wrong to think that a person who disagrees with us is at fault and should be destroyed. This is the fundamentalism that crumbles a society. For it wrecks coexistence. This fundamentalism -- regardless of what religion or political view it belongs to -- might win a few battles but it is doomed to lose the war. This is what history teaches us. I hope that this city and this country will turn into a place where people can live as brothers and sisters and unite for the common good for all. Is the Allah of all of us not the same?"

No, unfortunately, the Allah of all of us is not the same.

Just four months later, in June, 2010, it was Padovese's turn to be murdered. This time the murderer was the Bishop's own driver for the previous four years. The driver first stabbed the bishop, then cut his throat, while shouting "Allahu Akbar" during the attack.

At the trial, the driver said that the bishop was "Masih ad-Dajjal" ("the false messiah"), then twice in the courtroom he loudly recited the adhan (Islamic call to worship).



Father Andrea Santoro (left), a 61-year-old Roman Catholic priest, and 63-year-old Bishop Luigi Padovese (right), Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, were two Christian priests murdered in Turkey in recent years.


In the territory where Christians once thrived, even converting to Christianity now creates serious problems.

"New Christians coming from Muslim families are often isolated and ostracized," writes Carnes. "Turgay Ucal, a pastor of an independent church in Istanbul, who converted from Islam to Christianity said: "Buddhism is okay, but not Christianity. There was a history."

And this history includes how indigenous Christians in Anatolia have been slaughtered by Muslims. [2]

The total population of Turkey is about 80 million; believers of non-Muslim faiths -- mostly Christians and Jews -- comprise 0.2%. Nevertheless, anti-Christian sentiment is still prevalent in much of the Turkish society. [3]

There seems to be a pattern: Murders of Christians are committed stealthily in Turkey: It is "ordinary people" who murder or attack Christians, then the judiciary or political system somehow finds a way of enabling the murderers or attackers to get away with what they have done. Sadly, most of these crimes are not covered by the international media, and Turkey is never held responsible.

Turkey, however, signed a Customs Union agreement with the European Union in 1995 and was officially recognized as a candidate for full membership in 1999. Negotiations for the accession of Turkey to the EU are still ongoing.

How come a nation that has murdered or attacked so many Christians throughout history, and which has not even apologized for these crimes, is considered even a suitable candidate for EU membership? Because of the threat of blackmail to flood Europe with Muslims? Turkey will flood Europe with them anyway. There is even a name for it: Hijrah, spreading Islam (jihad) by emigration. Exactly as Muslims have done inside Turkey.

And what kind of a culture and civilization have many Muslims built for the most part in the lands that they have conquered? When one observes the historical and current situation in Muslim-majority countries, what one mostly sees are murders, attacks and hatred: Hatred of non-Muslims, hatred of women, hatred of free thought and an extremely deep hatred of everything that is not Islamic. Many Muslims that have moved to the West have been trying to import political Islam to the free world, as well.

Muslim regimes including Turkey have not achieved civilized democratization that would enable all of their citizens -- Muslims and non-Muslims -- to live free and safe lives.

While Muslims are pretty much free to practice their religion and express their views on other religions or on atheism anywhere in the world, Christians and other non-Muslims can be killed in Turkey and other Muslim-majority countries just for attempting peacefully to practice their religion or openly express their views.

"Multiculturalism," which is passionately defended by many liberals in the West, could have worked wonders in multi-ethnic and multi-religious places such as Anatolia. But unfortunately, Islamic ideology allows only one culture, one religion, and one way of thinking under their rule: Islam. Ironically, this is the central fact these liberals do not want to see.

Much of the history of Islam shows that the nature of Islamic ideology is to invade or infiltrate, and then to dominate non-Muslims.

In general, Muslims have never shown the slightest interest in peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims. Even if most Muslims are not jihadis, most do not speak out against jihadist attacks. Many thus appear quietly to support jihadis. That there are also peaceful Muslim individuals who respect other faiths does not change this tragic fact.

That is why non-Muslims in the West have every right to fear one day being exposed to the same treatment at the hands of Muslims. The fear non-Muslims have of Islamic attacks is, based on recent evidence, both rational and justified.

Given how unspeakably non-Muslims are treated in majority Muslim countries, including Turkey, who can blame them for being concerned about the possible Islamization of their own free societies?

Why does Turkey, which seems to hate its own Christians, want to have visa-free access to Christian Europe, anyway?

Robert Jones, an expert on Turkey, is currently based in the UK.


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#2 Yervant1


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Posted 07 August 2016 - 10:02 AM

The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Galaxy Files (Australia)
August 5, 2016 Friday
Telegraph Edition



The parliament of Australia needs to grow a backbone when dealing with
the Turkish government. Across Australia, Australian descendants of
Armenians, Assyrians and Greek survivors of the 1914-1923 genocide
inflicted by the Turkish-led Ottoman Empire continue to hold
commemoration ceremonies to remember the victims of one of the most
horrific episodes in 20th-century history.

In echoes of the actions of Islamic State, millions of Armenian,
Assyrian and Greek Christians were slaughtered, forced to convert to
Islam, systematically raped or sold into sex slavery, had their
property stolen or had their Christian cultural, historical and
religious monuments destroyed.

Unlike the Germans, who have publicly recognised and shown remorse for
the horrors of the Holocaust and Nazi Germany, the Turkish government
not only refuses to acknowledge the genocide, but seeks to punish
foreign governments who do.

Of the 21 countries that have recognised the genocide, which includes
France, Russia, Canada, Italy, Poland, Greece and Germany, the Turkish
government, in response, has regularly launched sharp diplomatic
criticisms, withdrawn their ambassadors and even placed travel
restrictions on foreign nationals who wish to visit Turkey.

Despite attempts to have the genocide officially recognised by the
federal Parliament, successive Australian governments have kowtowed to
pressure from Ankara, fearing that official recognition may result in
Australians being blocked from visiting the shores of Gallipoli during
Anzac ceremonies, among other bilateral repercussions.

Such cowardice is out of step with Australian values and historical
parliamentary practice.

Australia's respected international reputation as a good international
citizen is derived from being a peace-loving nation that is also
willing to stand up against injustice and atrocities that have
occurred across the world.

Whether it be the Holocaust, Kosovo, Tiananmen Square, Rwanda,
Afghanistan, Tibet, East Timor or more recently Syria, Australia has
not hesitated to identify and condemn acts of genocide or systematic
human right abuses wherever they have occurred.

Our longstanding position has been that failure to acknowledge
systematic human rights abuses risks providing the licence for other
would-be rogue governments that such action is accepted within
international practice.

The Australian parliament should also seek to officially recognise the
direct contribution of Australia's military forces who served in WWI
which helped prevent further mass slaughter of Assyrians during the
genocide, including the heroic actions of Australian Army
Lieutenant-General Stanley Savige. Savige, who was part of the British
secret operation named Dunsterforce, volunteered with the British High
Command to lead a force of only eight men under his command which
successfully rescued and transported 60,000 Assyrian refugees to
safety against Turkish military resistance.

The Turnbull government should not fear a deterioration in
Australia-Turkey relations.

Recent actions by the Turkish government demonstrate that Turkey is
neither a friend to Australia nor a nation that shares common
interests or our values.

Turkey has played an instrumental role in facilitating the growth of
the Islamic State, despite this being against -Australia's national
security interests. It has done this through the purchase of stolen
oil seized in both Syria and Iraq by IS, which the Turkish government
has either actively participated in or turned a blind eye to.

Moreover, the recent mass arrests of academics, journalists and
members of the judiciary critical of the Erdogan regime, coupled with
the suspension of civil rights, the closure of over 130 media
organisations and social media platforms as well as the intermingling
of radical theology with public policy demonstrate that Turkey has
abandoned its longstanding embrace of secularism, Western
institutions, protections of minorities and democratic practices.

As a result Christian Turks, among other minorities, have become
subject to increasingly physical violence, attacks on their churches
and even murder.

Without Australia standing with the international community to condemn
previous Turkish atrocities and the actions of the current Turkish
government, our inaction risks passively facilitating a repeat of

A century ago Australia's finest gallantly took on the Turks. It is
time we now do it again.

John Adams is a former Coalition adviser.


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#3 Yervant1


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Posted 09 August 2016 - 08:58 AM

Philos Project
Aug 8 2016


August 8, 2016


Following the failed coup of July 15, the Turkish government has begun a brutal crackdownon people who it claims have ties with the movement of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric living in Pennsylvania whom the government accuses of organizing the attempted coup.

This scale of arrests and governmental pressures might be new to Muslim Turks, but Armenians – the victims of Turkish racism for all seasons – are being targeted again.

The newspaper Agos covered the latest rights abuses against Armenians:

Armenian trainer fired under the cover of “Fethullah Terrorist Organization”

As part of the purge that was started after the coup attempt, Ari Hergel, who was working as a guitar teacher in the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Art and Vocational Training Courses, has been fired from his job.

Hergel said that he was informed about the issue via a phone message on July 22.

“In the message they sent me, it was written that I have some kind of a relation with Fethullah Gulen,” Hergel said, “however, I couldn’t find out what are the grounds of this assumption. There is no information or document indicating such a relationship.”

Hergel added that many other people have been fired for the same reason: “When I went to get the original copy of the notice, I came across many coworkers who have received the same notice,” he said. “People were trying to explain themselves and writing petitions.”

Armenian doctor’s fertility center closed down as part of state of emergency

The Istanbul Fertility Center, founded and directed by the Armenian surgeon Aret Kamar, was seized and closed down on July 25. The reason was the center’s alleged support to the “Gulenist terrorist organization.”

Kamar said that he is an Armenian and Christian and has nothing to do with Gulen:

“We have absolutely no connection with that organization,” he said. “However, since our center is closed down by the decision of cabinet, we cannot take any legal action.

“Our center was closed down due to a single report from the intelligence service. They confiscated the properties and medical equipment. They left nothing. They took the cash in the center. They did all this without any investigation. They came on Saturday morning and completed the process by midnight.”

The center had been operating for 11 years and treated an average of 200 patients per day, Kamar said. “They took confidential records of 40,000 patients and this was the saddest part. They don’t have the right. Also, they transferred the embryos to Koc University.”

Armenian with French nationality deported due to speaking Turkish

Richard Demirci, a businessman who has been conducting trade between Turkey and France for years, was detained and then deported on July 31 for “speaking Turkish even though he is Armenian.”

Demirci was born in Turkey’s Siirt Province in the Sason region, part of the historical Armenian Highland.

Agos reported, “Speaking to the police during the ID check at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, Richard Demirci said that he was an Armenian from France and he ended up being deported. Police officers asked, ‘You speak Turkish. How come you are not Turkish?’

“As a result of the dialog between Demirci and the police officers, Demirci was kept in the airport and then taken to the Foreigners’ Department in Kumkapı.”

Demirci has been prohibited from entering Turkey due to an exclusion order.

Murad Mihci, an activist with the Armenian Nor Zartonk Association in Turkey, said that Demirci was exposed to verbal attacks and insults while in detention. “They insulted him for being Armenian and accused him of working for the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party]. He will be brought to court for having ties with a ‘terrorist organization.’”

Armenian journalist taken to police station and had his passport seized

Hayko Bağdat, an Armenian journalist born in Turkey, had his passport seized by Turkish police after he arrived from Greece at the Istanbul airport on Aug. 6. Bağdat announcedthe incident on his Twitter account, writing, “My passport has been seized and I have been taken to the police station upon entering the airport. There is no ruling for detention. So, for a while, do not tell me to ‘go speak in another country,’ for it is now impossible.”

It is said that many other journalists will also be exposed to the same treatment. Bağdat the online newspaper Diken, “For what other journalists have such rulings been given, who will be detained or whose passports will be seized? This is not just my problem only. It is said that such decisions have been made for thousands of journalists.”

Wealth Tax: How Non-Muslims of Anatolia Were Eliminated from the Economy

The current population of Turkey is about 80 million, but Christians and Jews only compromise 0.2 percent of it. And this unnatural decline of population took place not only as a result of mass slaughters and forced expulsions, but also as a result of several economic pressures against the country’s non-Muslim citizens.

The current rights violations against Armenian workers, employers or businesses − including unjust dismissals, arrests and seizures of properties − are reminiscent of what the non-Muslim communities in Turkey went through during the period of “the Wealth Tax Law.”

On Nov. 11, 1942, the government of the non-Islamist Republican People’s Party (CHP), led by the then-prime minister Sukru Saracoglu, enacted the Wealth Tax Law.

The stated aim, wrote scholar Basak Ince, “was to tax previously untaxed commercial wealth and to rein in the inflationary spiral of World War II. However, the underlying reason was the elimination of minorities from the economy, and the replacement of the non-Muslim bourgeoisie by its Turkish counterpart.”

The Wealth Tax Law divided the taxpayers in four groups, as per their religious backgrounds:

  1. Muslims
  2. Non-Muslims
  3. Converts (“donme”), i.e. members of a Sabbatean sect of Jewish converts to Islam
  4. Foreign nationals

Only 4.94 percent of Turkish Muslims had to pay the Wealth Tax. The Armenians were the most heavily taxed.

Turkish researcher Ridvan Akar, who wrote a book about the injustices of the Wealth Tax Law, referred to the wealth tax as “economic genocide against minorities.”


“The way in which the law was applied was scandalous,” wrote Ince, an assistant professor of political science. “Converts paid about twice as much as Muslims, while non-Muslims ended up paying up to 10 times as much. In addition, non-Muslims were required to pay their taxes in cash within 15 days; as a result, they had to sell their businesses or property to Muslim businessmen at low prices to cover the bill. The law was also applied to the many poor non-Muslims (numbering 26,000), such as drivers, workers and even beggars, whereas their Muslim counterparts were not obliged to pay any tax.”

Those who could not pay the taxes were sent to labor camps or deported, or their properties were seized by the government.

The labor camp was at Askale, near Erzurum, which the author the author Sidney Nowilldescribed as “an area cooler than Moscow in the winter.” The tax debtors were put to work breaking stones, but the tragedy did not end there.

“Out of 40,000 tax debtors,” Ince wrote, “about 5,000 were sent to these camps, and all of these were members of non-Muslim communities. Unfortunately, 21 people died in these camps and the government usurped their wealth and sold it to Turkish Muslims at low prices.”

The government also confiscated the property of the tax debtors’ close relatives, even if the persons had been sent into labor service.

In her book “Turkey, the Jews, and the Holocaust,” historian Corry Guttstadt wrote about the financial and psychological ruin the Wealth Tax inflicted on the non-Muslim citizens of Turkey:

“People who were unable to pay were granted a two-week extension on request, but interest was charged for this period. Many families were forced to sell their shops and businesses, their houses, even their carpets, furniture, and other household articles, to raise the tax money. Some people committed suicide in despair. The extraordinary tax was also levied on foreign Jews, and if they were in no position to pay, their property was confiscated down to the beds and cupboards.

“Although the law stipulated that people over 55 years old were exempt from labor service, 75- and 80-year-old men and even sick people were dragged to the train station and deported.”

Then-prime minister Saracoglu said, referring to the Wealth Tax Law, “This way, we’ll break the foreigners’ tight grip over our market and put Turkish money into the hands of Turks.”


The Economic, Political and Cultural Consequences

According to Ince, “The Wealth Tax is a key link in the Turkification chain. Due to the law, most non-Muslim merchants sold their properties and vanished from the markets. The lasting damage ensured that many wary members of minorities did not want to invest in Turkey, or else they emigrated after this period.

“Most non-Muslims simply left. In 1938-40, approximately 30,000 Jewish citizens left Turkey. The Wealth Tax once more demonstrated that being Muslim constituted a significant part of the definition of citizenship in Turkey.”

The Wealth Tax was repealed in March 1944, under the pressure of criticism from Britain and the United States.

Seventy-one years later, on Dec. 27, 2015, Sezgin Tanrikulu, an MP from the CHP, presented a proposal to Turkey’s parliament, which stated that “the right to Turkish citizenship should be granted to all of the people and their relatives up to fourth degree who have been exposed to deportation, forced immigration or who have been stripped of their citizenship inside the geography that constitutes the current territories of the Turkish Republic, from Oct. 29, 1914, when the First World War started – up to today.”

The proposal was intended for the victims and descendants of the 1915 Armenian genocide, the “Citizen Speak Turkish” Campaign of 1930s, 1934 anti-Jewish pogrom in eastern Thrace, the 1941-1942 conscription of “the twenty classes” (an attempt to conscript all male non-Muslim populations, including the elderly and mentally ill, during World War II), the Wealth Tax, the anti-Greek pogrom of Sept. 6-7, 1955 in Istanbul, theforced expulsion of Greeks in 1964, and the Kurdish citizens who have been victimized by the war in Turkish Kurdistan, euphemistically referred to as southeastern Turkey.

This might be a well-intentioned, humanitarian proposal, but how could the victims or their descendants return to their historic lands when the regime there still oppresses minority members in a systematic manner?

A government representative has also made a similar call to the non-Muslim victims of the Turkish regime. At the opening ceremony of the Edirne Synagogue on March 26, 2015, Bulent Arinc, then-deputy prime minister, called out to the citizens of Turkey who have had to flee Turkey: “If you want to come here – if you want to live in Turkey – there are 78 million people who would welcome you with open arms.”

With open arms? Such as by seizing their passports or businesses, arresting and deporting them, or unjustly firing them from their jobs? Or by even murdering them? Like the private Sevag Balikci, an Armenian citizen of Turkey who was shot to death during his compulsory military service in the Turkish army on April 24, 2011, the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Why should Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Jews, Kurds and other natives of Anatolia return when the only thing that awaits them on their ancient homeland is discrimination by a hostile government and public on a daily basis?

The pre-AKP period of Turkey is widely praised by many analysts in the West who claim that Turkey was a democratic, secular country where minority groups were not repressed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It was the so-called “secular” CHP, for example, that imposed this “jizya – kafir (infidel) tax” on Turkey’s non-Muslim citizens.

Until the AK Party came to power in 2002, nearly all non-Muslim citizens of Turkey had either been slaughtered, deported or had to flee Turkey for their lives.

Millions of non-Muslims and non-Turks have been punished and victimized by the Turkish regime for the reason of being non-Muslim and non-Turkish. Even if they were fully assimilated, they were never considered equal citizens.

Since the establishment of the country in 1923, the founders and ideologues of Turkey have propagated a chauvinistic and racist mindset that revealed itself through the slogan “Turkey is exclusively for the Turks.” All succeeding governments have consciously attempted to make this slogan a reality, turning the lives of minorities into hell on earth. The current discriminatory policies of the ruling AK Party government against non-Muslims are just a continuation of this xenophobic mentality.


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