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News about Non-Muslim minorities in Turkey !Non-Muslim minorities ready to take seats in Parliament
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 23 Feb 2011 Wed 05:55 pm


Non-Muslim minorities ready to take seats in Parliament

23 February 2011, Wednesday / YONCA POYRAZ DOĞAN, İSTANBUL
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Non-Muslim citizens of Turkey are not represented in Parliament, but they hope the situation will change soon as a result of Turkey’s democratization efforts.
Turkey’s non-Muslim minorities, who have long been reserved due to the state’s intimidating policies, would like to be represented in the Turkish Parliament, especially in the government of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

“It would be great if there were to be a non-Muslim in Parliament, as long as this person is not placed there as window dressing,” said dentist Tatyos Bebek, whose name was associated with the AK Party in an article that appeared in the latest edition of the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper, Agos.

Speaking to Today’s Zaman, Bebek said he has not been approached by any party officials but added

 that he would like to be involved in politics.

Intimidated by unfriendly policies of the state, non-Muslim minorities seek representation in Parliament after a long interval as they show more self-confidence about their citizenship. They also test the limits of Turkey’s democracy, which they said has become more open under the current government

“I’ve been in a struggle for democracy for many years as a professional. The AK Party is one of the most important influences that can change Turkey,” he said.

Titled “Can a non-Muslim deputy get to Ankara?” the Agos article named other Turkish Armenians in association with the AK Party. These are Melkon Karaköse, a businessperson who served as chair of the Foundation of the Surp Kevork Church; Bedros Şirinoğlu, president of the board of trustees of the Surp

Pırgiç Armenian Hospital Foundation; and Markar Esayan, a writer on the editorial team of the Taraf daily.

When contacted by Today’s Zaman, all of them said that they hadn’t received any offers from the party but if they did, they would view them positively.

“I am a member of the AK Party,” Karaköse said, adding that his candidacy for Parliament has been

a topic of conversation in his local Bakırköy district but has not gone further than that. He was a candidate

in the March 29, 2007 local elections for the Bakırköy Municipal Council but the party lost to the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Esayan added that AK Party would be the most appropriate venue for non-Muslim minorities to take part in politics.

“I believe that Turkey can change, and that’s why I work at Taraf. And I would be excited to be one of the pioneers in politics. If such an offer came from the CHP or MHP [Nationalist Movement Party], I would

 thank them but say ‘no’,” he said.

On the other hand, Arev Cebeci, a Turkish citizen of Armenian descent who until recently served in the Bakırköy Municipality as a CHP representative, said he intends to be a candidate in the June 12 elections.

“I wouldn’t have considered being a candidate for a place in Parliament with the old CHP [under the leadership of Deniz Baykal], which was pro-status quo and closed minded, but I think the new CHP is

different and much more open,” he said in reference to Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s leadership of the party.

“The number of members of non-Muslim minorities in Turkey is only around 80,000 but the parties should not evaluate the issue only with a quantitative view. Our representation would open doors for Turkey

 abroad,” he said, as the Armenian community in Turkey numbers around 60,000, mostly in İstanbul.

Esayan said that it is important that minorities are now able to feel like they should have a voice in Parliament.

“That means they’ve gained confidence -- that’s about normalization and democratization. We see that because many of them have already entered local government. If they are nominated in the general

elections from districts that they can win, then we will see democracy at work,” he added.

According to Mihail Vasiliadis, editor-in-chief of Apoyevmatini, a weekly Greek newspaper serving the

 2,500-strong Greek community in İstanbul, only the AK Party can achieve a non-Muslim minority deputy to Ankara.

“It would be more just if this were to be an Armenian candidate as far as the population is concerned,” he said, and added that the important thing is not the ethnic origins of the candidate but that the candidate is respectful of minority rights and can generate solutions to problems [faced by minorities].

Meanwhile, a group of people who supported academic Baskın Oran in the 2007 local elections from the

 2nd District in İstanbul, which has a large non-Muslim community, went to Ankara last week to seek

 support from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) for Hayko Bağdat’s candidacy. Bağdat, a businessman who was born in İstanbul to a Greek mother and an Armenian father, told Today’s Zaman

that nothing is certain yet about his candidacy. Of the 23 non-Muslims who have been deputies in the Parliament of the Turkish Republic since 1935, the most recent Armenian was Berç Sahak Turan,

who served in 1961-1964.


Edited (2/23/2011) by tunci
Edited (2/23/2011) by tunci

thehandsom liked this message
2.       si++
3785 posts
 24 Feb 2011 Thu 11:17 am

Erdogan’s party names six Armenian candidates


February 22, 2011 | 11:48

Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party issued the names of Istanbul Armenians who will run for parliamentary election.

Erdogan’s party named the following candidates: Melkon Karakose, Tatyos Bebek, Markar Esayan, Jerry Hrimyan and Bedros Sirinoglunun.

The oppositional Nationalist Movement Party plans to nominate Gegam Karapetyan.

As Armenian News-NEWS.am reported earlier, Arev Cebeci, Armenian by origin, will seek parliamentary deputy post from Republican People’s Party. Earlier Cebeci said he would bring community’s problems to the fore  but would also  represent Turkey as well.

The Kurdish Peace and Democracy party decided to nominate the candidacy of the famous writer, journalist Hayko Bağdad in the parliamentary elections.


Source: here

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