Shnork Kaloustian

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Excerpt from Turkish Daily News
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Mehmet Ali BIRAND

Would it have been a sin if Dogan were Armenian?

For quite a long time, there was speculation about former Religious Affairs Director Lütfi Dogan and the former Armenian Patriarch Sinozk Kalustyan being brothers. One of them made such a claim in a book he wrote, and many years later, as if we didn't have enough on our plate, the matter was reintroduced onto the agenda like it was fresh. All hell broke loose and opinions, witnesses testimony and empty talk were the result.

Reports about the matter seemed to say that what Lütfi Dogan had done was shameful, or could even be classified as a sin.

Eventually, maybe he was bored with all the talk, Lütfi Dogan came out and said: `We are five brothers and sisters. We have no other brother or sister.' The debate was proven to be without basis. During the days and weeks this debate was going on, obviously no one thought of asking Dogan if it was true.

Let's look at the matter from a different perspective.

What would have happened if Dogan really were the brother of the Armenian patriarch? Were we going to crucify Dogan? Alternatively, maybe we would have stoned him in accordance with the tenets of Shariah. Is it a crime for a Muslim Turk to have an Armenian brother? Is it a sin?

I'm sure if the claims were true, Dogan would have come out and said, `Yes, he is my brother and I'm proud of him.'