Politics 10:40 15/01/2020 Region

Analysis: Turkey eliminated its minorities from the economy with exorbitant taxes

By Harut Sassounian

Publisher, The California Courier

After the near total physical elimination of the minorities from the Ottoman Empire 1915-23, the Turkish government embarked in 1941 on the financial ruin of the remaining Armenians, Greeks, Jews, and a small number of Turkish Muslims.

Turkish journalist and political analyst Uzay Bulut, formerly based in Ankara, wrote an in-depth article posted on the greekcitytimes.com website, titled: “Wealth Tax Law: How Turkey’s Non-Muslims Were Eliminated from the Economy.”

The chauvinistic government of then Prime Minister Shukru Saracoglu enacted the Wealth Tax Law on November 11, 1942. While the Genocide of the minorities in Turkey has attracted much international attention in recent decades, the seizure of their wealth through taxes has not been as well publicized. The minorities residing in Istanbul were not subjected to mass deportations by the Ottoman authorities due to the presence of foreign embassies in that city which was then the Ottoman Empire’s capital.

Turkish scholar Bashak Ince wrote that the stated aim “was to tax previously untaxed commercial wealth and to rein in the inflationary spiral of World War II. However, the underlying reason was the elimination of minorities from the economy and the replacement of the non-Muslim bourgeoisie by its Turkish counterpart.”

The Turkish researcher Ridvan Akar, who wrote a book about the exorbitant Wealth Tax Law, described it as “economic genocide against minorities.”

Here are the four groups and the percentage of taxes imposed on them according to the 1941 tax law: Armenians (232%), Jews (179%), Greeks (156%) and Muslims (4.94%).

“The way in which the law was applied was scandalous,” wrote Ince, an assistant professor of political science. “Converts paid about twice as much as Muslims, while non-Muslims ended up paying up to ten times as much. In addition, non-Muslims were required to pay their taxes in cash within 15 days; as a result, they had to sell their businesses or property to Muslim businessmen at low prices to cover the bill. The law was also applied to the many poor non-Muslims (numbering 26,000), such as drivers, workers, and even beggars, whereas their Muslim counterparts were not obliged to pay any tax.”

Those who could not pay the taxes were sent to labor camps at Askale, near Erzurum, deported or their properties seized by the government, wrote Bulut.

Author Sidney Nowill described the labor camp as “an area cooler than Moscow in the winter.” The tax debtors were put to work breaking stones, but the tragedy did not end there!

“Out of 40,000 tax debtors,” Ince wrote, “about 5,000 were sent to these camps, and all of these were members of non-Muslim communities. Unfortunately, 21 people died in these camps and the government usurped their wealth and sold it to Turkish Muslims at low prices.”

Furthermore, “The government also confiscated the property of the tax debtors’ close relatives, even if they had been sent into labor service.”

Bulut also quoted historian Corry Guttstadt who wrote in her book, “Turkey, the Jews, and the Holocaust,” about the financial and psychological ruin the Wealth Tax inflicted on the minority non-Muslim citizens of Turkey: “People who were unable to pay were granted a two-week extension on request, but interest was charged for this period. Many families were forced to sell their shops and businesses, their houses, even their carpets, furniture, and other household articles to raise the tax money…. Some people committed suicide in despair. The extraordinary tax was also levied on foreign Jews, and if they were in no position to pay, their property was confiscated down to the beds and cupboards. Although the law stipulated that people over 55 years old were exempt from labor service, 75 and 80-year-old men and even sick people were dragged to the train station and deported.”

Turkish Prime Minister Saracoglu stated at the time: “This way, we’ll break the foreigners’ tight grip over our market and put Turkish money into the hands of Turks.”

Turkish Researcher Sait Chetinoglu has investigated and written extensively on the Turkish government’s Wealth Tax policy, based on historical documents and testimonies of the victims. A Greek-Turkish woman, Marika Shishmanoglu, was quoted as saying that the unreasonably large tax of 30,000 Turkish liras was charged on her father who was forced to sell both of his houses and his shop and was still unable to pay the full amount of the taxes levied on him. So he was deported to the Askale labor camp. Her uncle was also charged an extraordinarily large amount of tax and was financially ruined. He was deported to Askale too. Her father died at the labor camp of Sivrihisar of a heart attack at the age of 57.

“The Wealth Tax was repealed in March 1944, under the pressure of criticism from Britain and the United States,” Bulut wrote. “It was the so-called ‘secular’ Republican People’s Party (CHP), for example, that imposed this ‘jizya -- kafir [infidel] tax’ on Turkey’s non-Muslim citizens.”

Turkish journalist Bulut concluded: “The founders and ideologues of Turkey -- since the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923 -- propagated a discriminatory and Turkish supremacist mindset that revealed itself under the slogan ‘Turkey for the Turks.’ All succeeding governments have consciously attempted to make this slogan a reality, turning the lives of religious minorities into hell on earth. The current aggressive policies of the ruling AKP government against non-Muslims are just a continuation of this mentality.”



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

19:26
The Armenian Ski Championships underway in Ashotsk
The Armenian Ski Championships continue in Ashotsk, north of Armenia. The event has brought together 531 skiers from Gyumri, Ashotsk, Vanadzor...
19:11
Woman was tied to a car and dragged through the roads - MP recalls stories from anti-Armenian pogroms
We should not believe that the time will change the perpetrators of genocides, Armenian lawmaker Sasun Mikayelyan stated on Saturday at the...
19:00
Majority of Japanese population tolerate capital punishment system
Japanese Cabinet Office survey showed Friday that 80.8 per cent of the Japanese public tolerates the capital punishment system, The Jiji Press...
18:48
Air temperature will go up by 6-8 degrees in the coming days
Snow is predicted in most regions of Armenia at night of January 19-20, no precipitation is predicted in the daytime of January 20-22, Hydromet...
18:20
Azerbaijani authorities until now conceal their genocidal actions - joint statement of Armenia-Artsakh Inter-Parliamentary Committee
Special sitting of the inter-parliamentary committee on cooperation between the National Assemblies of Artsakh and Armenia took place in Yerevan...
18:00
Artsakh president’s spokesperson to run for parliamentary elections
Davit Babayan, Spokesperson of Artsakh Republic President will run for parliamentary election with his own Conservative Party of Artsakh (CPA)....
17:52
Funeral service for Georgi Kutoyan to take place on January 19
The funeral service for Georgi Kutoyan, former head of Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) will be held on January19 at 18:00 at...
17:22
Artsakh ombudsman: Azerbaijan prepares its people for a war
“Azerbaijan does not advocate for peace - quite the opposite - it gradually prepares its people for a war as can been seen through...
16:34
Viva-MTS: Viber Stickers”: say it with a sticker
Bright-colored stickers make communication more interesting, chatty and colorful, and on this occasion, Viva-MTS introduces another interesting...
15:54
Azeris were congratulating us on Spitak earthquake, refugee from Baku recalls
“The Sumgait pogroms changed the atmosphere and everything not only in that town but also in Baku and elsewhere. We felt the change in...
15:14
Gazprom Armenia may ask for $30 increase in gas price
Gazprom Armenia does not compensate the amount of $15 of the gas price and may ask to increases the price by $30, the Chairman of...
15:00
Azerbaijan violated ceasefire regime around 80 times - Artsakh Defense Army
The Azerbaijani armed forces violated the ceasefire along the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact over 80 times in the past week, the...
14:08
Armenian athlete Spartak Voskanyan starts at Winter Youth Olympic Games
The 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games are underway held in Swiss Lausanne. On January 19, the representative of Armenia 16-year-old Spartak...
13:59
Artsakh will be persistent to hold responsible the perpetrators of the genocide of Armenians in Baku - Speaker Ghulyan
The events of January 1990 in Baku were a crime against humanity that had been planned in detail and carried out by the leadership of the...
12:14
French police evacuate Macron from theatre amid protest
A group of anti-government protestors tried to enter a Paris theater while French President Emmanuel Macron was inside, according to local...
11:25
Iranian-Armenian singer Andy honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Iranian-Armenian singer-songwriter Andranik Madadian better known by his stage name Andy was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,...
11:02
Militant shelling kills around 30 civilians in Syria’s Aleppo
Illegal armed units continue to shell the Syrian city of Aleppo, where 28 civilians were killed in the past three days, the Russian Center for...
10:36
Two earthquakes recorded in Shirak province
An earthquake of 2,4 magnitude was registered 19 km south-east of Ashotsk village of Shirak province on Saturday at about 08:20 (GMT 04:20),...
20:33
PM receives astrophysicist Garik Israelian
Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan received on Friday the founder and organizer of Starmus (Stars and Music) International festival, astrophysicist...
20:15
Some roads in Armenia are closed and difficult to pass
Some roads in Armenia are closed and difficult to pass as of January 17 at 6:55, the ministry of emergency situations (MES) reported....
19:41
KFOR Deputy Commander hails the high level of preparedness of Armenian peacekeepers in Kosovo
Deputy Commander of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) Brigadier General Laurent Michaud visited the Armenian peacekeepers serving in Kosovo, the...
18:39
Alvina Gyulumyan elected Deputy President of the Constitutional Court
The judge of the Constitutional Court of Armenia Alvina Gyulumyan was elected on Friday Deputy President of the Constitutional Court during the...
18:29
European Figure Skating Championships to be held in Graz
The 2020 European Figure Skating Championships will be held in Graz, Austria, from 20–26 January 2020. As the National Olympic Committee...
17:44
Kutoyan’s body was found by wife – Artur Melikyan
The body of the former head of Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) was found by his wife, the Head of Department of Investigation of...
16:36
Friday afternoon road conditions update
Some highways are closed or difficult to pass in the territory of Armenia as of Friday afternoon, the Ministry of Emergency Situations reported....
16:24
Ex-Armenian security chief found dead in Yerevan
Former Director of Armenia’s National Security Service Georgi Kutoyan was found dead with a gunshot wound in his apartment on...
15:58
US withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty to blow European security – Russian Foreign Ministry
Washington's withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies seriously "damages" European security and prompts Moscow to respond, the...
15:39
Three Turkish soldiers killed in car bomb attack in Syria
Three Turkish soldiers were killed in a car bomb attack while carrying out roadside checks on vehicles in northeast Syria on Thursday, Reuters...
15:37
EU ambassador to Armenia: You will have no human rights without rule of law
Political will is important in Armenia’s path to democracy, EU Ambassador to Armenia Andrea Wiktorin told reporters on Friday on the...
14:27
Pentagon: 11 US troops wounded in Iranian ballistic missile attack on Iraq bases
The Pentagon has revealed that 11 U.S. service members received treatment for concussions from an Iranian missile strike on Jan. 8, according...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}