Armenian family in Türkiye says institutional discrimination thing of past

Armenian family in Türkiye says institutional discrimination thing of past

Top brass of Turkish state embracing Armenians, conferring awards on them, says owner of media house

By Omer Faruk Madanoglu

ISTANBUL (AA) - There is no longer systematic and institutional discrimination against Armenians in Türkiye, but sporadic and isolated incidents could still take place, an Armenian family in Istanbul said.

"I do not think that Armenians were subjected to discrimination after the 2000s. Armenian Markar Esayan even entered the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye as a deputy. If there had been marginalization, he would not have been able to enter,” Harutyun Kuran, general manager of Luys Media, told Anadolu.

Recalling that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently presented an award to Armenian designer Sevan Bicakci, he said: “The top brass of the state is embracing them this way, so the rest of the society can be more positive toward minorities.”

Stressing that he had never been discriminated against at any stage of his life, he said his family has been living in Istanbul for four generations.

As for the Armenian community in Türkiye, he said they consider themselves a part of the country.

Kuran said there was a lot of disinformation about Armenians living in Türkiye in the past, but this situation has changed recently.

There is a lot of “information pollution” about minorities in society, he said, adding that the minorities “should not withdraw into their shells.”

He also refuted the perception that Armenians living in Türkiye are not Turkish citizens and do not pay taxes.

“Armenians live all over Anatolia and this should be a unifying factor,” he said, adding that the Armenians also left many cultural heritages to Anatolia.

“We have been living together with the Turks since 1071. The Ottoman Empire was a community that had the consciousness of living together regardless of ethnic origin,” he added.

- Türkiye’s 1st Armenian television channel

Speaking about Luys Media and Luys TV, Türkiye’s first Armenian television channel, he said his family established a minority newspaper 10 years ago.

One of the biggest missions of the newspaper is to strengthen the ties between the Turkish community and the Armenian community, he said.

"This is how we can end prejudices and hostilities. We want to describe the Armenians living in Türkiye in the best possible way,” he added.

Highlighting that the newspaper was highly appreciated by the Armenian diaspora in different countries, he said Luys enables Armenians abroad to be aware of the developments in Türkiye.

The Kuran family established Luys TV after their newspaper became popular. Luys TV focuses on positive news, he said, adding that they should make more efforts to explain themselves to Turkish society.

Noting that Armenians abroad have wrong stereotypes about Türkiye, he said his family frequently organizes exhibitions and various activities to dispel these notions.

“There are Armenians who think that we live under very difficult conditions in Türkiye. We need to address these misconceptions. Let's do the best for this country together. If this country is a garden, there's room for all kinds of flowers,” he added.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar​​​​​​​

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