By Edmond Y. Azadian
As the current Islamic administration tries to dismantle Ataturk’s legacy, much dirt is being unearthed in Turkey.
The fallout from that ideological warfare has been benefitting the minorities, albeit, inadvertently.
Recently a document has surfaced revealing the racist nature of Turkey’s successive administrations following the establishment of the Turkish Republic by Ataturk in 1923. The official document, prepared by the Istanbul Provincial Education Directorate, states that Turkey’s population administration system has been recording citizens who have Armenian, Jewish or Anatolian Greek origins with secret “race codes.” For example, citizens of Armenian origin are coded with the number 2, while Greeks were given the code of 1, and Jews, 3.
An official from the Population Administration has told Radikal newspaper that the practice was being conducted “to allow minority groups use of their rights stemming from the Lausanne Treaty.” This official Turkish explanation very much resembles the justification efforts by Turkish authorities — until today — that during World War I, the government was so concerned with the safety of the Armenian minority that it deported members of that group to “safer zones,” meaning the Der Zor desert, where, of course, they perished.
Armenians did not have to wait for this document to surface to find out that they were treated as second-class citizens.