ISTANBUL (Agos) — The procedure of ‘race code’ in Turkish state records is removed from General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs’ system. Recently, HDP MP Garo Paylan asked about this procedure to Minister of Interior Efkan Ala during the meeting of Planning and Budget Commission. After that, Minister of Interior Efkan Ala and General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs Director Ahmet Sarican abolished this procedure. According to Garo Paylan, General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs Director Ahmet Sarican notified Paylan orally during a break of a session in the parliament. Sarican stated that this procedure is abolished upon the order of Ala.

Last year, the procedure of using the ‘race code’ for students applying to non-Muslim schools was abolished with a public mandate released on June. General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs Director Ahmet Sarican informed HDP MP Garo Paylan that this procedure is also removed from their system.

With the abolishment of this procedure, non-Muslims won’t be blacklisted by General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs anymore. However, Paylan noted that there may be other governmental institutions that still use this procedure and he stated that “race code” procedure must be abolished altogether.

Lawyer Cem Halavurt said that “race code” procedure can only be abolished by a public mandate, since it is not a legally binding procedure: “Since this procedure is unofficial, there cannot be a legal arrangement for it. Only thing that can be done is to release a public mandate stating that this procedure is abolished. We learned about this procedure, when a child wasn’t registered to an Armenian school, because his “race code” is not 2. We are glad that such things won’t happen again. On the other hand, I think that the state always keeps the record of such information. So, we cannot say that there won’t be any discrimination again.”

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