US Congress Urges The Government of Turkey . . .
Congress urges the Government of Turkey to honor its obligations under international treaties and human rights law to—
(1) end all forms of religious discrimination;
* The political relations between Moslem Turks and U.S. politicians are severely tarnished for the last two centuries owing to the heavy involvement of American Evangelists to spread their version of the Bible, which failed with Moslems, or Orthodox Greeks and Russians, also with Catholics spread in the region and had a limited success amongst Gregorian Armenians to convert them to Protestant by virtue of large investments in education and health-care. The U.S. Congress and Senate and the presidents have been goaded by the heavy pressure of the Missionary Organizations, which dictated ideals of theology versus logic and cooperation. Only those who read no history (not even Missionary Professors such as E. Grosvenor) or did not see the edict Sultan Mohammed II gave to Christians on the fourth days of his conquest of Istanbul, can make such slanderous accusations without any serious evidence. . . .
(2) allow the rightful church and lay owners of Christian church properties, without hindrance or restriction, to organize and administer prayer services, religious education, clerical training, appointments, and succession, religious community gatherings, social services, including ministry to the needs of the poor and infirm, and other religious activities;
* There has never been any hindrance at any time (even during wars with Greeks and Armenians) in the religious services of any faith. Their communities exercise full freedom (under international laws or bilateral agreements). The slander is not supported by any of the involved minorities living in Istanbul, Greeks-Armenians-Jews-Catholics-Protestants etc.) and hence comes from USA for understandable satisfaction for the Greek and Armenian American voters!
(3) return to their rightful owners all Christian churches and other places of worship, monasteries, schools, hospitals, monuments, relics, holy sites, and other religious properties, including movable properties, such as artwork, manuscripts, vestments, vessels, and other artifacts; and
* Will this call be extended reciprocally for all the Moslem properties in the many countries of Europe and North Africa, Middle East where the Ottomans ruled for over six centuries! In 1850s about 70% of the present Armenia was settled by Moslems! Can the US Congress show but one Moslem Mosque-Public Bath- School – Bazaar and other buildings or graveyards still standing today or even but one Moslem family?
* The rights proof all minorities have been settled by the Lausanne Treaty in July 1923. Another agreement signed with Greeks in 1936 settled all buildings and properties on bilateral accord.
The US Congress (under Armenian pressure) has not ratified the Lausanne Treaty, but they arrived at another agreement signed in 1937, for the losses of all American citizens. If the Congress is aware of this agreement, they should have identified “what is not fulfilled”!
(4) allow the rightful Christian church and lay owners of Christian church properties, without hindrance or restriction, to preserve, reconstruct, and repair, as they see fit, all Christian churches and other places of worship, monasteries, schools, hospitals, monuments, relics, holy sites, and other religious properties within Turkey.
* These are empty words spoken unaware of existing agreements and facts. Restrictions for repair with Greek properties are reciprocal to the limitations the Turks in Western Thracia has been suffering from time of exchange of population between the two countries.
Several Armenian and some Jewish places of worship has been repaired with the limited financial possibilities when there thousands of historical sites and monuments which cannot be touched due to shortage of funds. If the (Armenian-Greek etc.) American citizens, who press their speakers were to send their donations to their philanthropic organizations in Turkey instead of the campaigns of U.S. representatives, certainly much more could have been achieved. Their choice unfortunately is not positive result but it is negative propaganda… A good example is given hereunder immediately… See for yourselves where they want the donations to be sent! (Although there is no word “Armenia”, ANCA jumped immediately on the resolution and spread it as their victory)!
CONCLUSION: Gentlemen, do you take your voters or readers as dupes, not to understand your distortion of facts and deviation from political and humane ethics, just to win a few more votes and/or donations?
P.S.: Jesus Christ was a very simple and modest person; he did not need to wear heavy robes, high caps to impress his followers!
Wouldn’t you pay for more gold ornaments on their robes, to attract your eye-sight but block your logic?
Sukru S. Aya, Istanbul
21/07/2011 Please Respond
Breaking News: U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Urges Turkey to Return Christian Churches.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Passes Berman-Cicilline Amendment Calling on Turkey to Return Christian Churches
-- Amendment based on the “Return of Churches” resolution introduced by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Ed Royce (R-CA)
-- Armenian, Greek and Assyrian American communities mobilized in support of landmark religious freedom measure urging Turkey to allow freedom of worship
WASHINGTON – With a vote of 43 to 1, the House Foreign Affairs Committee today overwhelmingly adopted the Berman-Cicilline Amendment, calling on Turkey pressing Turkey to return stolen Christian churches and to end its repression of its Christian minority, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“Today's overwhelming vote represents a powerful victory for religious freedom, and a step toward the rightful return of the thousands of Christian churches and holy sites stolen by Turkey through genocide,” said Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
“Ninety six years after the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians, the Turkish Government has destroyed or confiscated the vast majority of their holy sites and places of worship. The Foreign Affairs Committee today sent a powerful message to Turkey that it must come to terms with this brutal legacy, respect religious freedom of surviving Christian communities, and return the fruits of its crimes.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Democrat Howard Berman (D-CA) was joined by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) in offering the amendment to the State Department Authorization bill, based upon language from H.Res.306, the “Return of Churches” resolution spearheaded by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Howard Berman (D-CA), both senior members of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Armenian Americans across the U.S. made thousands of phone calls to their Representatives in support of the measure, following a week of action alerts issued by the Armenian National Committee of America.
Similar calls to action have been issued by Archbishops Moushegh Mardirossian and Oshagan Choloyan, Prelates of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Western and Eastern United States, respectively. His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian, Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian, Fr. Mesrob Hovsepyan, and Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan were in attendance at the Committee offering their support for the passage of this legislation.
The measure has also received broad-based support from the Greek and Assyrian American communities, with the American Hellenic Education and Progressive Association (AHEPA), the American Hellenic Institute, and the American Hellenic Council issuing statements calling their community to action. “This resolution stands in the proud American tradition of championing religious freedom around the world,” stated AHEPA Supreme President Nicholas A. Karacostas. “If adopted, this measure will further reinforce our nation’s commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and also build upon the passage by Congress of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 and many other pieces of legislation promoting religious freedom abroad.”