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'We are no diaspora', prominent Turkish Armenians say

'We are no diaspora', prominent Turkish Armenians say

Prominent Turkish Armenians who received awards yesterday from Armenia’s diaspora minister said they cannot be seen as members of a diaspora because they live on the land where their ancestors have lived for thousands of years. “I would prefer not to have a diaspora minister in Turkey,” author Migirdic Margosyan told the Hurriyet Daily News before receiving his gold medal from Armenian minister Hranuysh Hagopyan. “I’ve been living on the land that we have been living on for thousands of years. I am not in the diaspora. This is a terrible irony,” Margosyan said. Hagopyan handed out medals to 15 Turkish Armenians, including Margosyan, composers Garo Mafyan and Cenk Taşkan and Alis Manukyan, the first Armenian female vocalist in Turkey’s State Opera and Ballet. Speaking after the award ceremony, acting Patriarch Aram Ateşyan said Hagopyan’s being invited to Turkey is a source of hope for Turkey’s Armenians. “We are proud to host a minister from Armenia. We wish for friendship and dialogue between the two peoples.”