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Discriminative Discourse in History Textbooks Upsets Assyrians in Turkey
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High school history textbooks for 2011-2012 prepared by the Turkish Ministry of Education include anti-Assyrian statements, resulting in disappointed Assyrians at a time when Turkey has been renewing relations with its minorities by eliminating unfair treatment in all sectors of social and economic life. According to a report in the Radikal daily on Monday, the textbook presents Assyrians as traitors to the country not just in a given historical period but also today. "The Assyrians in the Ottoman Empire" is a very problematic part of the textbook in that sense. It frames World War I as a breaking point in which Assyrians betrayed and stabbed the country in the back by cooperating with the great powers like Russia. Moreover, it also focuses on recent sociological aspects of the community's relations with the state. The migration of Assyrians to Europe increased for economic reasons. But this fact is presented in the text from a negative standpoint in which Assyrians are instrumental elements for European political goals, manipulating them for Western interests in their relation with Turkey. Due to the Lausanne Treaty, Assyrians became citizens of the newborn Republic of Turkey in 1923. The text also touches on the issue of Assyrian genocide, labeling the speculations senseless and politically motivated to damage the Turkish position. "There was no genocide carried out against Assyrians in 1915 as has been claimed," the text stated. Assyrian writer Markuz

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