ISTANBUL–The Armenian Patriarch of Turkey Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan–in response to the Religious Inspector Mehmed Nuri Elmas’ request–sent a letter regarding the 1936 Law detailing the manner in which the minority communities suffer because of it.
In his letter–the Patriarch reminded the Inspector that the non-Islamic communities were founded by the will and decrees of the Ottoman’sultans; however–Turkey’s current judiciary made a decision to deny those communities their right to enlarge their properties or to acquire new ones. During the Ottoman Empire–all the non-Islamic communities were granted that right–which was guaranteed and certified by following Turkish governmen’s in numerous international treaties. Until 1974–all the minority communities were able to acquire new properties–and proper documentation was given to those communities. Therefore–minority communities are not asking for something new–they just want their old rights to be reinstated.
The Patriarch also mentioned in his letter that the 27 -year old decree–which was changed on September 25–2001 opposes the administrative–legal–social and religious rights of minorities and it sheds light on the government’s illegal actions.