Ankara Says 89,000 Minorities Live in Turkey

ANKARA (Hurriyet)–A total of 89,000 minorities live in Turkey and have more than 270 houses of worship, a report prepared by the Foreign Ministry has shown.

The Foreign Ministry has prepared a report identifying the number of minorities living in Turkey and their houses of worship. According to the report, Turkey hosts 89,000 minorities, including 60,000 Armenia’s, 25,000 Jews and 3,000 to 4,000 Greeks.

Containing detailed statistics about the minority groups in Turkey, the report reveals that 45,000 of approximately 60,000 Armenia’s reside in Istanbul. The report, however, neglects to mention the estimated more than 2 million crypto and Hamshen Armenia’s residing in the country’s eastern provinces, who were Turkified after the Armenian genocide.

In addition to the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul, Armenia’s have 55 Gregorian, Catholic and Protestant churches, which are open to worship. A total of 2,906 students receive education in Armenian at 17 elementary schools, five high schools and a kindergarten.

According to the report, the Jewish population — estimated to be about 25,000 — mostly lives in Istanbul. The Jewish minority in Turkey has 36 synagogues, a kindergarten, an elementary school and a high school. The Jewish minority has 18 foundations and two hospitals.

As for the Greeks, the report has revealed that 3,000 to 4,000 Greeks are estimated to live in Turkey, the majority living in Istanbul. They have 15 elementary schools and six high schools, all of which are located in Istanbul. The Greeks have 108 churches, and 90 of them are open to worship. The report also noted that in addition to the current population in Turkey, 60,000 Greeks who are Turkish citizens live in Greece.

A copy of the report has been sent to the Prime Ministry’s Human Rights Chief.

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