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Thousands of Armenian-language Quran copies published in Turkey

Thousands of Armenian-language Quran copies published in Turkey
Source: Al Arabiya News (Thursday, 7 May 2015)

Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs has published 4,000 Quran copies in Armenian, both in the Indo-European language’s eastern and western dialects, a local newspaper reported Wednesday.

Yüksel Salman, who is in charge of religious publications at the directorate, said the first copies will be sent to libraries and some associations and the rest will be available for purchase at a later date, Today's Zaman reported.

Salam said the reason behind the move is to spread the message of Islam at home and abroad. It is estimated that there are 40,000 to 70,000 Armenians in Turkey, which has a population of nearly 75 million people.

The move comes after the recent standoff of between Ankara and Yervan when Armenia urged Turkey to state that the Ottomans had committed a genocide of Armenians.

However, Salam said it was a “pure coincidence” that releasing the Quran copies came about the same time as the centenary of the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in eastern Anatolia.

In late April, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the European Union and world leaders who recognized the 1915 massacre of Armenians as genocide. Erdogan also said countries like France, Germany and Russia are the “last” ones to talk about genocide and should examine themselves first.

But, on this occasion, we are glad to state that we were able to publish the Quran’s messages, which teach us that killing one person is like killing all of mankind and that saving one life is like saving the life of all mankind, in this language as well,” Today’s Zaman quoted Salman as saying.

The directorate said publishing the Quran in Armenian is part of its plan to translate the holy book into 15 languages.

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