Sunday, May 22, 2005

Greek American Organizations’ Policy Statement on Turkey’s Suppression of the Religious Freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

American Hellenic Institute president Gene Rossides announced today that the major Greek American membership organizations endorsed the policy statement on Turkey’s Suppression of the Religious Freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate prepared by the American Hellenic Institute. These are: the Order of AHEPA, the Hellenic American National Council, the Cyprus Federation of America, the Panepirotic Federation of America, the Pan-Macedonian Association of America, the Evrytanian Association of America and the American Hellenic Institute. The endorsed statement, which is part of the 2005 Greek American Policy Statements, follows:

Turkey’s Suppression of the Religious Freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Turkey’s restrictions on the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its brutal assaults against its Kurdish minority reveal that democratic norms have still not taken root. In view of Turkey’s horrendous human rights record, U.S. policy toward Turkey should be driven by forceful incentives for democratic reform. These include an arms embargo and economic sanctions.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in North America led a panel discussion at the U.S. Helsinki Commission on March 16, 2005 which presented "a clear picture of how religious human rights violations by the Turkish government have been working to exterminate the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Orthodox Christian community in that country." The panel briefing "highlighted Turkey’s systemic efforts to undermine the Orthodox Church, violating numerous international treaties to which it has agreed."

Read the rest of the statement on Hellenic News of America

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