[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM Persian]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Newspaper:] Sobh-e Emrouz

[Date:] 16 Farvardin 1334 [6 April 1955]

[Issue No.:] 162

 

Why Were 15 Iranian Men and Women Arrested in Ankara?

According to information received from Istanbul, the number of Iranians detained in Ankara is 15.

A few days ago, foreign news agencies reported that a group had been arrested in Ankara.  Two Iranian doctors are among them.

Hürriyet Newspaper in Istanbul writes in this regard:

A few days ago, Ankara police learned that a group was secretly gathering in a house and working to promote the Baha’i faith. The police chief immediately surrounded the house with several police officers and arrested about 62 people. Detainees were transferred to the Public Security Office. The house belongs to an Iranian doctor named Dr. Ashrafollah Sanaei, who is in charge of the population. His deputy, Dr. Enayatollah Borhani, who is also Iranian, does his work in the absence of Dr. Sanaei.

In addition to the two doctors, thirteen other Iranian men and women who were active in the group were arrested.

Among those arrested was an American with a political passport.

The two doctors were associated with Baha’is in Iran and other countries.

It should be noted that, according to Turkish law, religion is free, but extremist and private methods called “Tariqat” are not free; that is, the followers of the religions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism have complete freedom of action, but those who belong to the sects of these religions and adopt extremist methods, such as the Jesuits, the Dervishes, the Greens, and a sect such as the Baha’is, do not have complete freedom.

The Baha’is were recently warned that since they are known as a “sect” and not a “religion”, they have no right to act, and [since] the Baha’is protested, it was decided that the Council of the University of Istanbul, the highest scientific authority, would investigate the matter. Now, according to the information of the Council, this group is considered a “sect” and not a “religion”, and for this reason, the police have issued an order to disperse them and detain their gatherings.