YEREVAN — French-Armenian activist Sarkis Hatspanian expressed his concerns over what he called the Foreign Ministry’s selective approach to the Turkish-Armenians’ dual citizenship requests.
At a news conference on Friday, Hatspanian, a Karabakh war veteran and a former political prisoner, spoke of an Istanbul-Armenian family which had to return to Turkey without success as the Consular Department’s head, Vladimir Karmirshalyan, appeared to be on vacation at the time.
“The facts I am going to introduce are flagrant. I think the Republic of Armenia, as a state, is committing a crime in relation to the Diaspora-Armenians when issuing citizenship, a unit of its state symbol,” he said.
Hatspanyan noted that the identity of Turkey-born Armenians is confirmed by a baptism certificate which they receive from the Armenian Patriarchate and which they have to submit to the Foreign Ministry’s relevant subdivision for obtaining dual citizenship.
According to the activist, the main obstacle for the Turkish-Armenians is the absence of ancestors’ identity documents which he said were destroyed by the Turks during the 1915 Genocide. He called for the authorities not to forget the fact when deciding to issue a dual citizenship to the Armenians of Turkey.
Hatspanian said applicants do not always have the necessary documents, with many Turkish-Armenians being later converted to Islam or becoming pagans, thus losing the right of obtaining dual citizenship in Armenia.
He then again referred to the Istanbul-Armenian family. “Didn’t the Foreign Ministry have anyone who could replace the official named Vladimir? Wasn’t there anyone who could respond to the people who had visit their home country? Anyone who could ask them to come again because Karmirshaplyan will be back to work on September 4?” he added.