Turkologist Ruben Melkonyan publishes book “Review of Istanbul’s Armenian community history”
Turkologist Ruben Melkonyan received over AMD 1m grant from the Ministry of Diaspora to study the current condition of Istanbul’s Armenian community. He published a book under the title of “Review of Istanbul’s Armenian community history.” The Turkologist presenting his book at a press conference Wednesday said that the book addresses socio-economic, political, cultural and educational life of Istanbul’s Armenian community from the 1920s up to this day.
According to Melkonyan, Turkey’s Armenian community faces educational problem; the number of Armenian schools decreases year by year. This number has fallen from 47 to 16 with 3000 Armenian students. The expert said that only 18 percent of Armenian community speaks Armenian, the rest Armenians are Turkish-speaking. 92 percent young people is Turkish-speaking.
The number of mixed marriages increases in Istanbul, according to Melkonyan. Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople reported that mixed marriages reach 40 percent in the Armenian community of Turkey. The Church used to boycott mixed marriages, while now it even blesses such couples.
Speaking about involvement of Armenians in Turkey’s economy the Turkologist said that Turkey committed “economic genocide” in the previous century. Presently, the situation has improved a little but the number of Armenian businessmen is still small.
“There are ten Armenian businessmen in the Armenian community, according to my calculations, and it is not so much.”
The book is intended for Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Diaspora employees for them to form a general idea about life of Turkey’s Armenian community.