The Denied Letter of Turkish Government about Prohibition on Syriac Education
The letter of Ercan Karakas Istanbul Deputy (M.P.)
The letter of Minister Murat Basesgioglu
Republican People's Party
Group Chairmanship
Date:  December 10, 1997 
Number: 844 


Below are questions of mine that I submit for a written response by the Minister of Internal Affairs. 

Istanbul Deputy (M.P.)

In recent days there have been various reports in the press regarding the banning, by the Mardin governor, of religious education given in the Syrian monastery. 


 1 - Are these reports correct? 

 2 - If they are correct, why has the Mardin governor taken these steps, and upon the basis of what law? 

 3 - Do you approve of this decision, which is directed toward obstructing the beliefs and lives of the Syrians and Chaldeans - who have lived in Mardin for centuries and are a part of Anatolia's culture? 

 4 - To date, has any administrative research or investigation 
pertaining to this decision been conducted by your Ministry? 

 5 - If so, what was the result of said investigation?

Directorate General of Personnel 

Number: B050PGM0710001-/23108 
December 31, 1997 

(Chairmanship, Department of Laws and Decisions) 

 Following are answers to the motion of interrogation (7/3973) requested as a written response from me by Istanbul Deputy (M.P.) Ercan Karakas. 

Respectfully submitted, 



Per request: Chairmanship, T.G.N.A. 
Information: Prime Ministry 

 Referring to the written communication (dated December 24, 1997) received from the Governorship and which pertains to the subject at hand; 

It has been determined: 
  that the prohibition of religious education of our Syrian citizens was a completely wrong and speculative report

  that there was no such decision and that there was no interference aimed at limiting or abolishing the worship of the church congregation, which adheres to the Christian religion and is gathered under the auspices of eight foundations;

  that the Metropolitan of The Netherlands Yeshü Çiçek, the 
Metropolitan of Istanbul Filüksinos Yusuf Çetin, the Metropolitan of the Midyat Deyrul Umur Monastery Timotheos Samuel Aktas, and the priest of Mardin Deyrul Zafaran Ibrahim Türker, together with the Istanbul and Mardin congregations, have visited the Mardin Governorship, the Security Commandership, the Municipality Chairmanship, Gendarmerie Commandership and Security Directorate; that accompanying them were press consultants and as well as church officials; 

  that discussions were conducted on the subject of security measures and complaints reflecting outside of Turkey, and that, on these subjects, just as there was no negative request, they expressed that they were pleased by the good intentions and tolerance; 

  that the guidelines overseen and proposed by the Directorate 
General of Foundations and the orders of our Ministry were explained to our citizens; that, in the event that natives and foreigners who come to stay as long-term guests - especially in churches located outside of Municipality boundaries - request such,  security measures and protective actions were taken; 

  that it is not possible to permit actions that are not in line with the laws, and that, as our other Turkish citizens, it is necessary for our Syrian citizens to obey the same law and preventive measures that are taken; 
  that there is absolutely no benefit in false reports which are 
neither in the interests of the country nor our people living abroad, and that can sow discord among our citizens who are members of these religious congregations which have formed an extensive culture among us for centuries; 

that these reports are the result of focuses with provocative attitudes which are in opposition to our country; and therefore, that it is not necessary for any action to be taken concerning the governor of Mardin. 


Web Master: Gabriel Rabo
Updated: 24.01.1998
Copyright 1997
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