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Author Topic: Armenian Church in Turkey Demands List of ‘Categorized’ Armenians  (Read 498 times) Average Rating: 0
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Salpy
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« on: August 13, 2013, 09:50:02 PM »

Quote
ISTANBUL—The director of a Turkey-based Armenian church organization has asked the Interior Ministry to submit to it the list of Armenians codified in Turkish records as ethnic minorities.

Nazar Ozsahakian, the Chairman of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Foundation, has demanded the list, citing a Turkish law on freedom of information as a justified reason for accessing the records.

Knowledge about the Turkish government’s secret use of codes to categorize minority citizens was discovered last week by the Turkish-Armenian news agency Agos, despite evidently being in use since 1923. Armenians are marked with a number 2, Greeks are marked with 1, and Jews with number 3 in Turkish government registries.

Read more here:

http://asbarez.com/112734/armenian-church-in-turkey-demands-list-of-‘categorized’-armenians/


Does anyone know if the Greek Church is doing anything about this?
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mike
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 08:42:15 AM »

To clarify, some organisation wants to get private statistic data. Just like an insurance company would ask government for a list of people with serious health problems. Or some furniture shop would like to get a list of people who recently moved. Or some funeral homes - list of families, where someone died recently...

Hilarious but it happens. Recently there was some scandal in Finland or Sweden were government institutions were selling such data to private companies.

BTW, the title  is misleading. It's not the Church, but some "Holy Trinity Episcopal Foundation". And they want these data to expand list of people who take part in some their internal votings or something.

They shouldn't get this data. And if it was the Church, the Church shouldn't get them either.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 08:48:43 AM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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Aram
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 09:36:41 AM »

It looks to me like "Holy Trinity Episcopal Foundation" is a poor English translation. This is a group associated with the Armenian Church, as far as I can tell, though it might be some kind of lay warden or benevolence society. It's calling to attention the fact that the Turkish government has been secretly categorizing and keeping lists of ethnic minorities for 90 years. If you can't see how dangerous that is given the history in the region...
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 09:43:09 AM »

All countries collect data about citizens. That's what countries do. Poland also has info about everyone's ethnic identity. It's not a big secret since it was one of the questions in the census.
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 09:57:41 AM »

All countries collect data about citizens. That's what countries do. Poland also has info about everyone's ethnic identity. It's not a big secret since it was one of the questions in the census.
and census data is never doctored?
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 09:58:26 AM »

As I recall it was precisely these State records that were used to identify and round up Jews and other 'undesirable' minorities in the Third Reich, and the territories it occupied. While it is true Governments world over collect data on their resident populations, often justified as a necessary prerequisite for effective planning of services, it is a matter of record that data has been used to discriminate against and even eliminate members of targeted groups.

Turkey's record in relation to minorities is hardly likely to lead to anything other than unease among some groups within the population.
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Aram
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 10:07:49 AM »

All countries collect data about citizens. That's what countries do. Poland also has info about everyone's ethnic identity. It's not a big secret since it was one of the questions in the census.
Good for Poland, but there's a history here you seem to not understand. To my knowledge, Poland does not have a history of using this specific kind of data to isolate and systematically exterminate minority populations. Turkey does. Turkish minority policies are exacting and repressive, and draw from the longer Ottoman tradition of using meticulously-gathered statistics and other numerical data to impact policy decisions that minimized minority groups. More dangerously, these same kinds of secretly-compiled statistics (which is what these are, not census figures) were used to systematically exterminate entire ethnic populations. (I would point you to my colleague Fuat Dundar's recent book Crime of Numbers for further explanation.)

I don't intend to argue this further with you. You need to understand that finding out Turkey has been keeping secret data on its ethnic minorities since the 1920s (which is just a continuation of similar kinds of data the Young Turks and Ottoman governments were keeping before that) raises red flags for Armenian and Greek Christians and Jews in the region.
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 10:17:44 AM »

and census data is never doctored?

Rephrase, please.

You need to understand that finding out Turkey has been keeping secret data on its ethnic minorities since the 1920s (which is just a continuation of similar kinds of data the Young Turks and Ottoman governments were keeping before that) raises red flags for Armenian and Greek Christians and Jews in the region.

Everyone should be aware that he might be a target of some intelligence agencies, especially if he is a member of some minority group. And if he is an activist, he is for sure. That's basic knowledge.

So what do they want now Turkey to do with these records? Destroy them? Stop collecting them?
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 10:39:13 AM »

and census data is never doctored?

Rephrase, please.


Actual data changed to fit a particular agenda.
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2013, 01:24:58 PM »

and census data is never doctored?

Rephrase, please.


Actual data changed to fit a particular agenda.

Who knows?

Some additional questions to the topic:

If collecting such data by Turkey was a secret how that foundation could know about it and ask about it?
What is a problem here? Turkey collecting such data or Turkey not sharing them with the foundation?
If not sharing such data with the foundation is a problem, would it be also OK for Turkey to share them with eg. Armenian Baptist Evangelical Church? Or, let say, Turkish Patriotic Anti-Armenian Botherhood of Young Males?
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2013, 01:34:47 PM »

and census data is never doctored?

Rephrase, please.


Actual data changed to fit a particular agenda.

Who knows?

Some additional questions to the topic:

If collecting such data by Turkey was a secret how that foundation could know about it and ask about it?
What is a problem here? Turkey collecting such data or Turkey not sharing them with the foundation?
If not sharing such data with the foundation is a problem, would it be also OK for Turkey to share them with eg. Armenian Baptist Evangelical Church? Or, let say, Turkish Patriotic Anti-Armenian Botherhood of Young Males?
The practice was discovered and reported on earlier this month by Agos, a rather influential Armenian newspaper based out of Istanbul. This was the newspaper Hrant Dink edited before he was assassinated.

I don't read Turkish and the Google translation is really garbled, but here are two articles from Agos. One is the original article in which the practice was uncovered, the second appearing to be an editorial:

http://www.agos.com.tr/haber.php?seo=90-yildir-soy-kodu-ile-fislemisler&haberid=5479
http://www.agos.com.tr/haber.php?seo=rober-koptas-yazdi-soy-kodunun-kodu&haberid=5526

Clearly, the problem is the data was collected.
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2013, 01:39:13 PM »

If I may...

It seems that the problem might not be that the data was collected or coded (full stop), but rather that state agencies had previously denied that they were doing so, which does call into question why they need(ed) to be secretive about it, if their motivations are indeed above the board. The Armenians, of all people, have reason to believe that there might be some nasty implications of these actions.
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2013, 08:01:57 PM »

This isn't just some annoying data collecting that the government is doing.  It has implications having to do with the persecution of Christian and other religious minorities in Turkey.

I have a friend from Istanbul.  She once told me how before they came over here, her parents wanted to make some modifications to their house. So she and her brother went to a government office to get the records for their house.  They gave the clerk the Turkified version of their name, which was their legal name over there.  The clerk went into another room, spent a very long time there, and came back saying he could not find the records.  So then my friend's brother told the clerk to try the Armenian version of the name.  The clerk said something like, "Oh, you're Armenian.  You should have told me that."  Then he went into a different room than the one he originally looked in, and came back with the records.

Basically, the Turks keep the records for the religious minorities separate in case they want to "deal" with them, like they have before in 1915, and other times of ethnic and religious cleansing.  Turks, Armenians, Greeks and Jews don't look that different, and everyone over there speaks Turkish and has a Turkified name.  So how do you find them when you want to get rid of them?  You keep separate records for where they live and use codes so they can be identified.

It may sound paranoid to those who have no experience with the Turks;  But those whose families have suffered religious persecution under them have no trouble believing this.
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