New magazine to represent all Turkey’s minorities

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s minorities should try harder to break out of their shell, according to the editor-in-chief of a new monthly magazine that aims to lend a collective voice to Turkey’s Armenian, Greek, Bulgarian and Syriac minorities. “Paros” (torch in Armenian) will be published in Turkish to reach a broader audience.

“Turkey had no magazines aiming to shed light on minority communities. At the moment, we are unique in this field. As Turkey is changing, so the minorities’ world has begun to acquire new vigor. I believe the timing for Paros’ launch is quite accurate, and precisely for this reason, because Turkish society has grown more aware,” Mayda Saris told Hürriyet Daily News.

The representatives of Turkey’s minorities gathered in a hall allocated by Şişli Mayor Mustafa Sarıgül at Ramada Hotel in the district of Pangaltı to participate in the magazine’s publicity meeting on Monday night. Mayor Sarıgül expressed his support for the enterprise and added that minorities were an indispensable part of Turkey.

“Paros means torch; and let’s hope this torch never fades away and keeps our paths alight. We wish for all cultures to live on and never get lost,” Sarıgül told the Daily News.

The magazine contributes to a country’s culture when minorities knew the language of their resident country well and launched publications that addressed the general public, Saris said. Such publications show people what they do not see and make them think about different things, he added.

Agos magazine, an Armenian weekly whose editor-in-chief Hrant Dink was assassinated in 2007, had managed to attract substantial interest because it was published in Turkish, said Paros’ editor.

“Care needs to be taken to prevent Armenian, Greek, Syriac, Bulgarian and all other languages from becoming obsolete, for languages are our wealth. However, it is also a truism that our youngsters prefer to read in Turkish,” Saris said.

The magazine will primarily cover social, cultural, educational, economic and artistic subjects, according to Saris, who also added that young writers showed considerable interest in the publication. A publicity issue of Paros magazine has already been published with its initial staff of 18.

“We are going to employ many writers from diverse ethnic backgrounds: Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians and Syriacs. While Turkey and the world are changing, minorities should also break out of their isolation,” Saris said