15:54 30.08.13

A French-Armenian activist expressed Friday his concerns over
what he called the Foreign Ministry's selective approach to the
Turkish-Armenians' dual citizenship requests.

At a news conference on Friday, Sargis Hatspanyan, a Karabakh war
veteran and a former political prisoner, spoke of an Istanbul-Armenian
family which had to return to Turkey without success as the Consular
Department's head, Vladimir Karmirshalyan, appeared to be on vacation
at the time.

"The facts I am going to introduce are flagrant. I think the Republic
of Armenia, as a state, is committing a crime in relation to the
Diaspora-Armenians when issuing citizenship, a unit of its state
symbol," he said.

Hatspanyan noted that the identity of Turkey-born Armenians is
confirmed by a baptism certificate which they receive from the Armenian
Patriarchate and which they have to submit to the Foreign Ministry's
relevant subdivision for obtaining dual citizenship.

According to the activist, the main obstacle for the Turkish-Armenians
is the absence of ancestors' identity documents which he said were
destroyed by the Turks during the 1915 Genocide. He called for the
authorities not to forget the fact when deciding to issue a dual
citizenship to the Armenians of Turkey.

Hatspanyan said applicants do not always have the necessary documents,
with many Turkish- Armenians being later converted to Islam or becoming
pagans, thus losing the right of obtaining dual citizenship in Armenia.

He then again referred to the Istanbul-Armenian family. "Didn't the
Foreign Ministry have anyone who could replace the official named
Vladimir? Wasn't there anyone who could respond to the people who
had visit their home country? Anyone who could ask them to come again
because Karmirshaplyan will be back to work on September 4?" he added.

From: A. Papazian