Turkey to return some confiscated Christian properties

VatopaidiFriend: Our friend that sent us the following article, also sent the following comment «I fear it is too early to «celebrate» the issue of this decree/law. We must wait and study in detail the particular provisions of this decree/law and observe how effectively and impartially it will be applied by the Turkish authorities which have a long and dreadful history of state discrimination against non-Muslims (Christians, Jews and other minorities…) to the point of their physical and cultural extinction and annihilation. I fear that the deadline of 12 months may be a «legal way» to confiscate the properties definitely and under the cover «legality.» Timeo Turcos et dona ferentes!»

PanARMENIAN.Net – Fearing mounting losses at the European Court of Human Rights and recent adoption of Congressional legislation calling attention to its repression of Christian communities, the Turkish government issued a decree this weekend which would return Christian and Jewish religious properties confiscated after 1936, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

«Erdogan’s decree, clearly prompted by increased Congressional scrutiny of Turkey’s repression of its Christian minority and successive losses at the European Court of Human Rights, would return less than one percent of the churches and church properties confiscated during the Armenian Genocide and the decades that followed it,» said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian. «Ninety six years after the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians, Greeks, and Syriacs, this decree is a smokescreen to evade the much broader consequences of those brutal acts. The ANCA will expand its outreach to Congress and the Administration to ensure that the Turkish Government comes to terms with its brutal past, respects the religious freedom of surviving Christian communities and returns the fruits of its crime.”

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Cyprus: USCIRF Concerned Over Demolition of 200-Year-Old Church in Northern Cyprus

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) expressed its concern over the demolition of the 200-year-old Greek Orthodox Chapel of Saint Thekla in the village of Vokolida, in the area of the Republic of Cyprus under the control of the Turkish troops and administered by Turkish Cypriot authorities.  The church was demolished on May 2, 2011. USCIRF calls on local Turkish Cypriot authorities to commit to rebuild the church. Read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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The holy martyrs of Lazeti

Lazeti is a region in southern Kolkheti (Colchis), the ancient kingdom located in what is now southwestern Georgia and northeastern Turkey. In ancient times, Lazeti was a center of Georgian culture. The holy Apostle Andrew began the conversion of the Georgian nation from this very region.

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Assyrian, Greek, Armenian Genocide Anniversary Commemorated Publicly in Turkey

(AINA) — Just few years ago only a handful of people in Istanbul rallied publicly on April 24 to remember thegenocide perpetrated during the Ottoman reign against Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks. This year’s commemorations took place in five other cities, Ankara, Bodrum, Izmir, Bursa, and Diyarbakir. At Izmir, Assyrian victims were commemorated, too. These protests are highly courageous considering the machinery of denial still at work in official Turkey. An increasing number of Turkish intellectuals refuse to accept the denial policy of their government.

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Greece, Armenia ‘butchered’ by Turkey, says Greek president

Greece and Armenia were “butchered” by Turkey in their past, the Greek president told his Armenian counterpart yesterday as he bemoaned a costly arms race with Ankara that helped create Greece’s vast debts.

“We were butchered by the same barbarian,” President Karolos Papoulias told his counterpart Serzh Sdargsyan who began a three-day visit.

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Greek community in Turkey fears for its survival

Valendi Mihailidis (r) is the only pupil at Kadikoy Greek Primary School

By Jonathan Head

This week members of the Greek Orthodox Church celebrated one of the most important dates in their calendar, the Feast of Epiphany, with young men competing to retrieve crosses thrown by priests into rivers and seas around the world.

The most important ceremony takes place in Turkey’s biggest city, Istanbul, where the spiritual head of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew, throws a cross into the Golden Horn.

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Wikileaks before Wikileaks or the Revelations of a British Spy on Ataturk

BY ARA PAPIAN

Head of the Modus Vivendi Centre

Turkish commentators cannot understand why a photograph of Ataturk was included in a drawer filled with incriminating documents. Some believe that it might have something to do with his involvement in the genocide of the Armenians and Greeks.

The world has many things to say about Wikileaks nowadays, because Wikileaks has much to say about the world. Numerous cables notwithstanding, the following is of note: a picture of Kemal Atatürk came up in a desktop wallpaper available for download from the website portraying various scandals…

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For every Turkish DITIB mosque in Germany build one Christian church in Turkey!

Moschee der türkisch-islamischen Union (DiTiB)...

Mosque in Germany

by the Society for Threatened Peoples

The Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) welcomes in the spirit of religious diversity and tolerance the construction of places of prayer for all faiths in our country. It is worth noting that the new mosque in Duisburg falls under the jurisdiction of the Islamist society DITIB, which with its 880 branches is an arm of the Turkish «Ministry of Religious Affairs» in Ankara. At the same time the Turkish administration persecutes and suppresses to the present day the Christian minorities.

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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate gears up to ask Ankara for return of more properties

The title deed for the Büyükada Orphanage was delivered to Cem Sofuoğlu, an attorney representing the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, on Monday, prompting the patriarchate’s attorneys to request the return of other buildings that belong to Turkey’s Greek minority foundations. Patriarch Bartholomew (inset)

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One of ancient Christian churches of Turkey offered for sale

One of the most ancient Christian churches in the world is offered for sale in Turkey.

The Turkish authorities have not allowed businessman Meta Yalcin from Istanbul to renovate the church constructed in 780-797. Thus, the businessman, who had bought the church 10 years ago, decided to sell it, CNN-Turk reported.

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Religious Intolerance in Turkey

International Conference on Religious Intolerance in Turkey

On 16-17 November, the Order of St Andrew held a conference entitled «Turkey’s Bridge to the European Union» at the European Parliament  in Brussels. Human Rights Without Frontiers was invited to a panel addressing «Issues and Concerns of Religious Minorities in Turkey». Hereafter the paper presented by Human Rights Without Frontiers.

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Istanbul Greek school down to just one student

Valendi Mihailidis is seen in a classroom of the Kadıköy Greek Elementary School, where he is the only student. Only 10 out of 22 Greek schools in Istanbul have students. Radikal photo, Mine TUDUK

If 10-year-old Valendi Mihailidis forgets his pen or notebook at home, there is no one at his school he can borrow one from. The fourth-grader is the only student at the Kadıköy Greek Primary School in Istanbul, one of 22 schools in the city serving just 214 pupils.

When asked if he ever gets bored without other students around, Valendi told daily Radikal, “I want to have friends too, but there are also good sides of being alone.”

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Landmark ruling in Turkey Buyukada orphanage returned to the Orthodox Patriarchate

A landmark ruling by a court of law in Turkey, the first of its kind: Buyukada district court of following the ruling of the Court of human rights in Strasbourg, has handed over the Buyukada orphanage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. The court has informed the «Fanar» that orders have been given for the final return of the building, located on the ‘Island of the Princes’ to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. It also ordered that the land be registered to the “Rum Patrikanesi” (The Patriarchate of the Rum, as Orthodox Christians are called in Turkey), recognizing its de facto legal status. It should also be noted that with this ruling, the Buyukada court overturns a previous decision of 27 June 2005, with which, and at the request of the Directorate of Religious Foundations, all property rights to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople over the orphanage were removed.

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Christlicher Friedhof in der Türkei geschändet

Unbekannte haben einen christlich-orthodoxen Friedhof auf der türkischen Ägäisinsel Gökceada (griechisch: Imbros) verwüstet. Wie türkische Medien am Montag berichteten, stürzten die Täter die Kreuze auf 78 Gräbern um und zertrümmerten sie. Der Angriff ereignete sich demnach bereits am türkischen Nationalfeiertag, dem 29. Oktober. Die Insel ist ein Zentrum der wenigen im Lande verbliebenen griechisch-orthodoxen Christen und wurde 1922 vom griechisch-türkischen Bevölkerungsaustausch ausgenommen.

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Bartholomew I: «The Church will fight for her survival»

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

Numerous graves in the Christian-Orthodox graveyard on the Aegean Island of Gökceada were violated by unknown people. According to what was reported by some Turkish media and by the Austrian Catholic news agency Kathpress yesterday, the crosses of 78 gravestones were destroyed. The episode took place on 29 October, the national feast of Turkey. The island is home to some of the few Greek-Orthodox Christians who still live in the country. Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, …

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Turkish Christians seek better legal inclusion

Germany's president Christian Wulff, left, is welcomed by Bishop Grigorios Melki Urek of Adiyaman in Tarsus, Turkey.

The small Christian minority in this predominantly Muslim country is hoping for an improvement to its legal and social situation as Turkey comes under increasing pressure to address their problems and after Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s head of state, said publicly that he is also the president of non-Muslims.

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Unidentified assailants vandalize graves in Greek Orthodox cemetery

Several grave stones in a Greek Orthodox cemetery in the Aegean island of Gökçeada were vandalized on the night of Oct. 28, according to a press release sent to Today’s Zaman by the Foreign Ministry.

The release added that the incident was made public upon a criminal complaint filed at a prosecutor’s office by the Gökçeada Municipality. An immediate investigation was launched into the incident. Efforts are ongoing to catch the perpetrators of the attack.

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Israel, Greece sign aviation pact, first treaty in 60 years

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his visiting Greek counterpart, Dimitris Droutsas, signed an aviation treaty yesterday, amid signs of strengthening ties between Jerusalem and Athens. This was the first treaty to be signed between the two nations since 1952, a Foreign Ministry statement said. The deal paves the way for, among other things, two carriers to service each side for each destination instead of just one.

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German leader urges Turks to respect Christian rights

German President Christian Wulff urged Turkey Tuesday to respect the religious freedoms of Christian minorities, a key issue in the country’s struggling bid to join the European Union.

Wulff made the appeal after talks with Turkish leaders in Ankara, dominated by issues of co-habitation and a simmering debate in Germany on whether Berlin had failed in efforts to integrate Muslim immigrants, many of them Turks.

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Turkish State Minister calls Christians “gavur” (unfaithful)

The Chair of the Syriac Culture Association Yuhanna Aktas stated Turkish State Minister Faruk Celik should apologize to Christians for calling them gavur (an offensive ethnic slur used by Muslims in Turkey to describe all who are non-Muslim) in one of the TV programs several days ago.

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Turkey needs to reinterpret secularism, says senior MP

Turkey has to reinterpret its principles of secularism to adapt to a changing society, an AK Party member in charge of drafting a new constitution said, joining a growing debate over the Muslim country’s identity.

Turkey, a rising regional power which aspires to join the European Union, was founded by Kemal Ataturk as a secular republic on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after World War I.

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‘Continued Turkish provocations’ upset Greece

While Ankara renews its national security document and changes its redlines, Athens again accuses Turkey of ‘continued provocations’ in the form of threatening war and violating Greece’s aerial and naval sovereignty. Athens says it has a right to extend its territorial waters and that it is reserving this right.

Athens is accusing Ankara of «continued provocations» in the form of threats and violations of the country’s aerial and naval sovereignty that have allegedly occurred despite improving relations between Greece and Turkey.

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Justice for genocide should have no expiry date

After World War II, the Germans gave us their new term for reparation payments to be made to Holocaust survivors — wiedergutmachung. At first, the English translation, making good again, sounded profound and exotic — until I realised that dead husbands, wives, parents, children and the half-alive survivors can’t be restored in the way the term suggests.

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Κραυγή οργής από τους πάντες στην Κύπρο για τις λαικίστικες, ανιστόριστες, ανεύθυνες και απαράδεκτες δηλώσεις προέδρου Χριστοφιά!!!!!

Ελληνο-αμερικανικό τηλεοπτικό πρόγραμμα και Κυπριακός Τύπος για την επίσκεψη Χριστόφια στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες Αμερικής.
Για άμεση κυκλοφορία: 29 Σεπτέμβριος  2010

Η Ελληνοκύπρια ερευνήτρια/συγγραφέας από το Λονδίνο  κα Φανούλα Αργυρού ήταν η φιλοξενούμενη σήμερα στην εκπομπή του κ. ‘Άγγ. Αγγελάτου, η οποία μίλησε για τις τρέχουσες εξελίξεις στο Κυπριακό, την επίσκεψη προέδρου Δημήτρη Χριστόφια στην Αμερική και τις δηλώσεις που έκανε και για την ιστορία του Κυπριακού και απάντησε σε ερωτήσεις από ακροατές. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Reps. Bilirakis, Maloney Call for Protection of Religious Sites and Artifacts in Cyprus

U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), co-chairs of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, introduced a resolution Thursday that calls for the protection of religious sites and artifacts from and in Turkish-occupied areas of northern Cyprus as well as for general respect for religious freedom. «Passage of this resolution will show that Congress makes international religious freedom a priority,» said Bilirakis, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the International Religious Freedom Caucus.

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