ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily News) — An official document penned by the Istanbul Provincial Education Directorate has surfaced, revealing that Turkey’s population administration system has been recording citizens who have Armenian, Jewish or Anatolian Greek (Rum) origins with secret “race codes.”
The Armenian-Turkish weekly newspaper Agos published as its headline story on August 1 a report on an official document that openly states “citizens with Armenian origin are coded with ‘2.’” The implementation is reported to have been in place since 1923, the foundation year of the Turkish Republic.
A Turkish citizen’s mother whose origin is Armenian requested to register her child at an Armenian kindergarten, but the school responded by asking her to prove she had the “2 code” in order to check that she had not changed religion, according to the document. In Turkey, only minority communities’ members can register their children at minority schools, according to the education law.
The document, sent from the Istanbul Provincial Education Directorate to the Şişli District National Education office, stated that “since 1923, the secret code of Armenians is ‘2’ on identity registration certificates,” according to the Agos report.
“Since 1923, identity registration certificates have a secret ‘race code,’” the document added.
The family’s lawyer, Ismail Cem Halavurt, said the struggle to register children at the Armenian kindergarten was still continuing.