ISTANBUL — The director of a Turkey-based Armenian church foundation has asked the Interior Ministry to submit to it the list of the Armenians encrypted as ethnic minorities.

Nazar Ozsahakian, the Chairman of the Surp Yerits Mangants Church Foundation, has demanded the list, citing the Turkish Law on Freedom of Information as a justified reason for accessing the records.

He has told the Ministry’s Population and Citizens’ department that the list of the Armenians residing in the Istanbul region is necessary for them ahead of the foundation elections.

“Since 1923, the Armenian community has been marked with code number 2 in the population registers; the records are available in your agency. It is mainly the voters in the Sariyer region that elect [members of] the Bolajikyo Holy Trinity Episcopal Foundation. The Armenian community members of Sariyer are the main voters of our church’s foundation. But we are planning to conduct the election outside of the region as well, involving also the voters currently residing in Istanbul in order to allow for a more democratic poll. Hence, pursuant to the Law on Information, we request you to provide the Armenian community’s list, which bears code number two,” reads the request.

It comes after recent reports revealed that the ethnic minorities residing on Turkey’s territory are given special codes under the Treaty of Lausanne. The code for the Greeks is one. The Armenians and Jews are marked with code numbers two and three.

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