Turkey’s Communication Directorate shared a video on social media Tuesday that showed Jewish, Greek, Armenian and Assyrian communities living together with Muslim Turks in Istanbul.
“Under the leadership of our President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan], and with knowledge of being ‘Altogether Turkey,’ we have taken unprecedented steps to realize the principle of equal citizenship and protect our nation’s cultural and religious diversity,” the head of Communications Directorate Fahrettin Altun said in the Greek language in the video.- Serli Uslay says she never faced discrimination because of her Armenian heritage; always perceived as richness in Turkey
Η Τουρκία, υπό την υγεσία του Πρόεδρου της Δημοκρατίας @RTErdogan, έκανε πρωτοφανή βήματα προκειμένου να προωθήσει την αρχή της ισοπολιτείας και να διατηρήσει την πολιτιστική και θρησκευτική πολυμορφία του Έθνους μας. Αυτό το επεισόδιο εστιάζει στην Ρωμαίικη Ορθόδοξη Κοινότητα. pic.twitter.com/yCzubedMMW
— Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) July 28, 2020
The video included interviews about the culture of living together and personal experiences of subjects with Muslim Turks.
Serli Kecoglu Uslay, a Turk of Armenian origin said her husband, Mehmet, is a Muslim and the couple have raised their daughters with Muslim and Christian traditions.
“There are three churches, a Latin Catholic Church, a synagogue and a mosque in Buyukdere district in Istanbul from the beginning and end. In other words, so many places of worship fit into such a small place. This shows the cultural richness of this place. Here, during the Ramadan months, Armenians and Greeks, Jews do not eat in the street, in the garden, before iIftar, they show incredible respect,” she said.
Uslay said she has never faced discrimination because of her Armenian heritage and it is always perceived as richness in Turkey.
Alexia Kotam, a Greek, said his best friend is a Turk and “sometimes we should wonder about something. Both sides should have curiosity about each other.”
In the last 15 to 20 years, increased efforts to increase and to keep alive multicultural, multilingual and a multireligious structure in Turkey is gratifying, she said.
*Writing by Seda Sevencan
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