The chairman of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Foundation in Turkey asked the Turkish Interior Ministry for a list of the Armenians codified as ethnic minorities in legal records. DAILY NEWS photo/ Emrah Gürel
Nazaret Özsahakyan, the chairman of a foundation in Istanbul, demanded the Interior Ministry release all the lists of “coded” Armenians, Armenian-American daily Asbarez reported on its website Aug. 12.
The chairman of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Foundation in Turkey asked the Turkish Interior Ministry for a list of the Armenians codified as ethnic minorities in legal records.
Özsahakyan, the chairman of the Armenian church foundation located in Istanbul’s Balıkçıköy neighborhood, demanded the list of the Armenians categorized under the “race code” from the Interior Ministry.
A debate over the “race codes” was raised on Aug. 1 after Armenian-Turkish daily Agos reported on an official document penned by the Istanbul Provincial Education Directorate, revealing that Turkey’s population administration system had been recording with “race codes” citizens who have Anatolian Greek
(Rum), Armenian and Jewish origins. People with Anatolian Greek
(Rum) origins were classified with a “one,” Armenian origins with a “2” and Jewish origins with a “three.” Turkey’s Interior Ministry had confirmed that minorities in the country were given codes depending on which community they belonged to since the Ottoman period and that such information was sent to the Education Ministry.
In his request, Özsahakyan said the church needed the list of Armenians residing in the Istanbul region for the upcoming elections at the foundation.
“Since 1923, the Armenian community has been marked with code number ‘two’ in the population registers; the records are available at your agency. It is mainly the voters in the Sariyer region that elect [members of] the Bolajikyo (Balıkçıköy) Holy Trinity Episcopal Foundation. The Armenian community members of Sariyer are the main voters of our church’s foundation. But we are planning to conduct the election outside of the region as well, including also the voters currently residing in Istanbul in order to allow for a more democratic poll. Hence, pursuant to the Law on Information, we request you provide the Armenian community’s list, which bears the code number ‘two,’” Özsahakyan’s request is quoted as saying.