New legislation to come

The state hasn’t issued a new regulation in substitution for the one that organizes the election of board members of the minority foundations, which was annulled 3 years ago. Because of this, there is an ongoing uncertainty for months, since elections cannot be hold without a regulation. However, Vice Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan’s statements moved the process to another level.

On January 28, at the session of Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission, where the budget of General Directorate of Foundations was discussed, Akdoğan responded to HDP MP Garo Paylan’s question and pointed to a new legislation: “We are meeting with the representatives of the foundations. It is not only about elections and regulations; there are other demands. We are working in order to see whether there can be a legal regulation which can cover all problems. In the next weeks, I will hold a meeting with the representatives of the minority foundations. After taking their opinions, we will take action.”

“Legislation is the rightest way”

Speaking to Agos about the process, AKP MP Markar Esayan stated that the law draft will be concluded as soon as possible. Esayan said: “We worked with Yalçın Akdoğan on the election regulations. We got advises from the General Director of Foundations Adnan Ertem about the technical issues. I also informed the prime minister. We agreed that a legal regulation is the rightest way. After Akdoğan returns from his South America trip, we will meet in order to conclude this issue.” Esayan also responded to the question how long this process will last: “In order to provide a permanent solution to “commercial enterprise” problem of the schools, I have been holding meetings with the ministry of education. Because of the busy agenda, the process doesn’t proceed very quickly, but there is an important progress.”

“A lot of time is wasted”

VADİP (Solidarity and Communication Platform for Foundations) Chair Bedros Şirinoğlu stated that they will meet with Yalçın Akdoğan soon. “If we were able to defend the regulation draft that was prepared by the lawyers of the Patriarchate and approved by VADİP, we wouldn’t have wasted such time. Members of VADİP didn’t respect that draft and prepared new ones. Greek society has similar problems, but Jewish society presented a single draft. Legislation instead of a regulation is a pleasing development. We will learn its details during our meeting with Akdoğan.”

“We need an immediate solution”

VADİP Secretary General Harutyun Şanlı stated that there would be irreversible consequences, if the process isn’t concluded soon. “As the Armenian society, we have at least 9 foundations that pose some problems. We believe that these foundations should be revived and put into the service of the society. If this uncertainty, which has been going on for 3 years now, continues, there will be irreversible consequences. This process might last for another year, but we need an immediate solution.”

Toros Alcan: The legislation should be governing and determine the framework

Foundations General Assembly Minority Foundations Representative Toros Alcan assessed this development: “All communities have needs peculiar to their social structure. The legislation should provide a framework that can cover these needs. It should enable the return of the rights which were restricted during the republic era. For instance, Cismani Meclis (Carnal Assembly), which was abolished in 1960, should be revived. It is possible to determine our own election regulation and foundation works only with such an assembly. A legislation that cannot provide such a framework would lead to chaos again and the state would be dealing with new lawsuits. In this sense, I find the idea of legislation very important. We can have a structure from which every member of our community can benefit. The legislation should be governing and determine the framework. In the civil foundations, the founder determines the election regulation of the foundation; minority foundations should also have this right. Societies can determine how to administrate their foundations in accordance with this governing legislation and hold elections in accordance with the constitution. This would be a revolutionary development for minorities.”



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Baruyr Kuyumciyan