It’s worth noting that in the year of persecution, 1928, Avraam Galanti, a Jew living in Western Armenia, published a book entitled “Compatriot, speak Turkish,” which at first glance misleads researchers and readers alike. However, from the very first page of the book, it is clear that Galanti, a representative of the religious minority, is not criticizing this nationalist initiative but, on the contrary, praising the Turkish authorities and calling on them to speak Turkish and forget their mother tongue.

This book was published in 1928, in Ottoman (Arabic), and in 2000, it was translated into Latin and published with a preface by the Jewish scholar Rafat Bali. Incidentally, Bali lightly criticizes his relative in the book’s preface while drawing a remarkable parallel with the fact that, in the same year 1928, another Jew, the nationalist Tekin Alp, published a book entitled “Turkatsum,” where he called and preached for Jews to adopt the Turkish language, culture, and assimilation.

According to Bali, with his book, Avraam Galanti tried to protect the Jewish community from attacks by the press and nationalist society on the one hand, and to present the reasons why Jews speak little or poorly Turkish on the other hand. Additionally, like Tekin Alp, he preached to the Jews of Turkey to learn and use Turkish quickly. However, Avraam Galanti was guided more by the ideology of the conscious Turkification of the Jews than by an effort to keep the Jewish community out of danger.

Moreover, in this little book, which is far from scientific, objective, and sometimes even logical, he fanatically advocates the oblivion of all languages spoken in Turkey and the exclusive use of Turkish. The so-called legal formulation of the “Compatriote, parle turc” action can be considered in 1937.

On December 27, PPA deputy Sabri Toprak submitted a bill entitled “On the prohibition of those who use a foreign language instead of the Turkish national language” to parliament, according to which it was forbidden to use a language other than Turkish in public places. According to the first article of this draft, citizens of Constantinople could use languages other than Turkish “only at home,” and the use of the mother tongue even when communicating with family members outside the home should be punished. The punishment ranged “from 24 hours to one week, or with a fine of ten lire to 100 lire.”

This legislative project also involved the creation of a large army of whistle-blowers who would inform the authorities about “outlaws.” What’s more, the law stipulated that those convicted under this article would not be able to work as teachers, lawyers, or journalists, and their diplomas would be revoked. While it is true that this legislative initiative did not receive de jure legal status, de facto many of its provisions were implemented.