Minorities, including Armenians, skeptical over call to join Turkish police forces

Minority communities have expressed skepticism at the Police Department’s recent Twitter call for minority youth to apply to join the force, saying authorities must take more measures to prove their sincerity.

The directorate wrote on its Twitter account that all Turkish citizens could become police officers regardless of their religion, race, or sect.

Istanbul-based Armenian-Turkish weekly Agos columnist Zakarya Mildanoğlu voiced skepticism over the call, saying more would be needed to prove their sincerity over the issue.

“This call is a positive development. But this issue cannot be solved with just a call. They must show their sincerity,” Mildanoğlu told the Hürriyet Daily News.

He also said he wondered how the background and identity checks would be done for minorities if they applied for a police posting. While noting that there were obstacles for minorities in Turkey to become pilots, prosecutors, judges, deputies or commissioned officer, Mildanoğlu said the call was still significant.

“Even if this call is not realized immediately, it will certainly smooth the hate speech and increase the perception of equal citizenship. This is not an easy process. Despite living together, there is rupture of 100 years,” said Mildanoğlu referring to the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

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