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October 18
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Turkish press has spread reports on Armenian origins of Devlet Bahceli, leader of “Nationalist Movement Party”.  The reports say that he is of an Armenian descent and his predecessors have changed their religious beliefs, Turkish studies expert Ruben Melkonyan told the reporters on Wednesday.  Devlet Bahceli has recently stated that he decided to start parliamentary election campaign by uttering a prayer in Cathedral of Ani on October 1.

“Anti-Armenian and anti-Christian sentiments in the Turkish society are reflected in domestic policy. The opposition tries to use religious service in Surb Khach church against the ruling party,” the expert noted.

“The attempts by the Nationalist Movement Party to speculate about the issue show that the majority of Turks are not tolerant towards Christians and Armenians. Bahceli is trying to promote the image of his party by declaring his intention to pray in Cathedral of Ani, as the society was enthusiastic about his initiative,” Melkonyan said. “Probably, he wants to pray in a church of his predecessors. We should ask him “Who will he address in his prayer?” We wish him to finally determine his real identity by praying,” the expert stressed.

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