TURKEY'S NON-MUSLIM MINORITIES DISCUSS CONSTITUTION
Representatives of Turkey's non-Muslim minorities met December 15 at the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul's Kumkapı district to discuss the ongoing efforts to draft a new constitution amidst a discussion on who should represent them, Hürriyet Daily News reports.
Participants in the meeting debated the recognition of minorities as legal entities, citizenship and cultural organization as well as the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, which prescribed the current status of non-Muslim minorities in the country, Laki Vingas, the spokesman for Anatolian Greek foundations and a member of the Foundations General Council, told the HDN.
Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos, the Ancient Syriac Community's Metropolitan Yusuf Çetin and Chief Rabbi İshak Haleva also attended the meeting.
Foundation representatives and the religious leaders of minority communities will also be invited to Ankara for consultations with the sub-commission on associations and foundations under the Constitutional Reconciliation Commission within the scope of Parliament's ongoing efforts to draft a new constitution.
Another meeting was also held that day at the Nazar Şirinoğlu Hall of the Surp Vartananzs Armenian Church in Istanbul's Feriköy district by lay representatives of the Armenian community, foundation administrators and academics. The participants discussed the role to be played by non-clerical minority members in drafting the new constitution.
"We are going to establish a working group. Decisions made [by established minority leaders]are with going to be brought to the attention of community members. A few people cannot make decisions on our behalf. It was said in the past that minority communities do not speak up. Now we have demands," a Turkish-Armenian Tatyos Bebek told the Daily News.
- 1920 The Revolutionary Committee of the Armenian SSR decrees the nationalization of all cultural and educational institutions.
- 1947 Death of Goorgen Alemshah. He was born in 1907.