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ICC Note:

Non-Muslim minorities in Turkey, including Christians, support government plans to develop a new constitution that recognizes that rights of all civilians – despite religious origins – equally.

By Abdulkadir Argili and Fatih Sinar
4/9/2011 Turkey (Today’s Zaman) – Non-Muslim intellectuals in Turkey support government plans to replace the current Constitution with a new and civilian one, saying they would like to be protected under a new constitution, rather than relying on the Treaty of Lausanne.

According to non-Muslim intellectuals, social peace in Turkey should be ensured by a good constitution, rather than an outdated treaty. Rober Koptaş, editor-in-chief of Armenian weekly Agos, said non-Muslim minorities do not want their rights to be guaranteed by foreign countries, which he says has negative impacts and repercussions in Turkey.

Non-Muslim minorities in Turkey do not want to be seen as “outer constituents whose rights are protected by the Treaty of Lausanne,” said Turkish-Armenian writer and journalist Markar Esayan, adding: “We want no more and no less than this. We want to become simple citizens of Turkey. We want to become citizens of a state we have failed to be close to until now.” Esayan also stated that Turkey has taken bold steps toward destroying a mindset that sees non-Muslims as “internal enemies” or “agents.” “Armenians who want to see themselves as real citizens of Turkey should also work for a new constitution,” he noted.

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