Preparations for giving Turkish citizenship to Syrians reminded AKP's previous promises to diaspora Armenians and Greeks. Scholars studying on this topic assessed the discussions of citizenship for Agos.
“Legal assurance is necessary”
Associated Prof. Göksu Özdoğan, Marmara University
“Syrians and the citizenship status of the ones who had to leave Turkey are two separate issues. The most important problem with the citizenship is the lack of legal assurance. I mean, Syrians, who acquire citizenship without legal assurance by the initiation of President Erdoğan, might be stripped off these rights by the initiation of another person one day.
On the other hand, providing them refugee status would be more proper than giving them citizenship, because in this way, people naturally think that Syrians are considered as “potential voters”. This is really unpleasant.
This is also true for Armenians and Greeks living in diaspora. Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and minister Ömer Çelik made a call to people having ancestors migrated from Turkey and invited them to come back to Turkey with a promise of citizenship. However, this call didn't have legal assurance either. Nobody would take such a risk without assurance.”
“People who had been here before 1071 shouldn't be forgotten”
Prof. Dr. Baskın Oran,
“Even the most fanatic AKP supporter would accept that AKP opportunistically wants to use these poor people as a source of vote.
On the other hand, even the most fanatic AKP supporter would prefer, if there is an apartment or job available, it should be given to the ones who are currently citizens of Turkey.
If AKP government wants to act like a real state, they should create a modern and rational migration and citizenship policy with the cooperation of the opposition parties. Otherwise they won't be able please anybody and will be overwhelmed by the demands. Everybody, for instance Meskheti Turks, Afghani people, Cypriot people, people from Western Thrace and Bulgaria, would jump out of the Pandora's Box and baffle AKP.
If Republic of Turkey is founded based on the principal of fellowship of land rather than bloodline and religion, then, in the first place, citizenship should be given to the ones who had been living on these lands before 1071, before Turks came. Like the children of Armenians whom we exiled in 1915 and the children of Greeks whom we exiled in 19164.
AKP should never forget that the minorities had a quantum of peace only during 1950-60, when Democratic Party was in power, and they felt always thankful. The entire civilized world felt the same way. AKP should never forget that they are kind of a predecessor of DP, not the Unionists.
In addition, the damages caused by coups of 1971 and 1980 should be repaired in this way. The ones who were deprived of citizenship shouldn't be forgotten.
I mean, abusing these wronged people for the sake of getting Syrian votes would cost dearly to AKP.
“Ottoman Empire didn't consist of only Arabs and Muslims.”
Prof. Dr. Ayhan Aktar,
Prof. Dr. Ayhan Aktar thinks that people who were forced to leave Turkey can be given citizenship, along with Syrians.
“A while ago, retired ambassador Volkan Vural suggested giving citizenship to the ones who had to leave Turkey for some reason within the last 100 years. He said let's give them loan if they want to start a business and excuse them from requirement of military service. This can be discussed. Ottoman Empire didn't consist of only Arabs and Muslims.”