For more than 150 years, minorities living, first in the Ottoman Empire and later in the Republic of Turkey, have occupied national and international agendas. During this period, topics similar to those we are discussing today were brought to agendas with similar results. “Politics for minorities” were set, evaluations were made, complaints were transmitted to relevant authorities, international agreements were signed, and reports were produced one after another.
During its northwards expansion from the Arabian Peninsula in the 8th and 9th centuries, Islam encountered the native populations of Khorasan and Transoxania, as well as the Turkic peoples, who were already on their seven-century journey from Central Asia to the West.
Willy Fautré: "EU Guidelines on Freedom of Religion or Belief, An opportunity for religious minorities in Turkey"
During the Swedish EU Presidency in 2009, the EU adopted its first Council Conclusions on Freedom of Religion or Belief, which were followed by Conclusions in 2011 as a response to violent incidents on religious grounds in the Middle East and Africa. Following the Arab Uprisings, questions of religion or belief in authoritarian regimes, fragile states and societies in transition came to the fore with an explicit need for the EU to develop policy on how to respond to these complex issues and developments.
It is with a real sense of accomplishment and gratefulness that I present my closing remarks to these two past remarkable days. Many thanks are due to many individuals, but I will reserve that expression of gratitude for our fellowship later this evening. For the moment, please allow me some reflection and observation.
Actuellement, trois circonscriptions partagent la carte ecclésiastique de Turquie pour les catholiques latins : Archidiocèse d'Izmir, Vicariat apostolique d'Istanbul et Vicariat apostolique d'Anatolie.
From 1989 onwards, after tearing down the Berlin wall, a significant change took place in Europe with regard to the appearance of the minority issue. The new environment coercively induced Europeans to create an adequate scope of protection for minorities, but also to develop the policy of intercultural and interfaith dialogue.
Although Turkey is a secular state, the constitution of which guarantees the freedom of conscience and religion, it does not really have a comprehensive and consistent policy on the freedom of faith. The way in which the principle of laicism is commonly addressed and implemented in Turkey seems to be considerably far from being a democratic principle that can be used as a framework in matters related to religious freedom and in governing state-society relations.
It is a great honor and joy for me to have this opportunity to participate in a conference of such a high level, and I would like to express my sincere thanks to the organizers. My gratitude is especially fervent because my topic is an issue very crucial to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, namely the reopening of the Sacred Theological School of Halki, where I have the honor to serve as Abbot over the last two years.
Muna B. Ndulo: "Legal and Humanitarian Perspectives on Equality, State Neutrality and Pluralism: Freedom of Religion in the South African Context"
A major issue concerning religious freedom in international human rights is the extent to which human rights instruments will protect religious freedom especially the right to manifest or display religion or beliefs. International human rights instruments guarantee individuals and communities the right to “freedom of thought, conscious and religion.”
The word 'Turk' appears 54 times in Turkey's 17-times-revised current Constitution. In the Constitution's Preamble, the same word is used 10 times. Even in the Preamble, it is evident that the word 'Turk' does not solely refer to citizenship, despite claims otherwise. Phrases in the Preamble use the word 'Turk' or 'Turkish' in several manners: “Turkish motherland and nation,” “the supreme Turkish state,”, “Turkish national interests,” “Turkish entity,” “Turkish historical and spiritual values,” “Turkish citizen” and “Turks dedicated to democracy.”
Zamanımız sadece on dakika ile sınırlı olduğu için daha hızlı olmak adına konuşmamı Türkçe yapacağım Umuyorum ki vaktinde tamamlayabilirim bu derece önemli bir konuda tecrübelerini bizimle paylaşmak için burada olduğunuz için teşekkür ederim
Can we imagine a world where people of minority religions can live in peace and security? Freedom of religion is the fundamental right of every living person. From our perspective, freedom of religion or belief is intrinsically linked to freedom of opinion and expression. Freedom of opinion and freedom of expression are prerequisites to maintain pluralism, including religious freedom and religious equality.
It is with a sense of excitement and gratitude that I welcome all of you to the Second International Archon Religious Freedom Conference dedicated to: “Tearing Down Walls: Achieving Religious Equality In Turkey”
It is an honor to be invited, to represent Brookings, to speak in this city, on this issue. Perhaps Brookings greatest accomplishment in its 97 years has been to help design the Marshall Plan in 1947. Not only did that contribute to reviving post-War Europe, but it also followed through on President Truman’s commitment to aid Greece and Turkey earlier that year. A Europe whole and free – including Greece and Turkey – remains a major priority for Brookings.
It is a joy and honor for me to extend the warmest of greetings to you both personally and on behalf of the Evangelical Church in Germany Council.
Επιτρέψτε μου ως Μητροπολίτη Γερμανίας και Πρόεδρο της Ορθοδόξου Επισκοπικής Συνελεύσεως στη Γερμανία, η οποία αποτελεί την πνευματική πατρίδα για περισσότερους από ένα εκατομμύριο ορθοδόξους χριστιανούς αυτής της χώρας, να σάς καλωσορίσω όλους εγκάρδια. Χαίρομαι, εντιμολογιώτατοι Άρχοντες του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, ότι για μια ακόμα φορά καταφέρατε να οργανώσετε ένα τόσο αξιόλογο συνέδριο εδώ στο Βερολίνο και είμαι σίγουρος, ότι και αυτή τη φορά θα μάς προσφέρετε πολύτιμες αφορμές για συζήτηση και προβληματισμό.
gestatten Sie mir als Metropolit von Deutschland und als Vorsitzendem der Orthodoxen Bischofskonferenz in Deutschland (OBKD), welche weit über einer Million orthodoxer Christen in diesem Land eine geistliche Heimat bietet, Sie alle von Herzen willkommen zu heißen. Ich freue mich, dass es Ihnen, verehrte Archonten des Ökumenischen Patriarchats, erneut gelungen ist, eine so bedeutende Tagung hier in Berlin zu veranstalten, und bin überzeugt, dass es Ihnen auch dieses Mal gelingen wird, wichtige Denkanstöße zu erarbeiten .
Allow me as Metropolitan of Germany and as Chairman of the Orthodox Bishops’ Conference in Germany (OBKD), which offers a spiritual home for well over a million Orthodox Christians in this country, to welcome you to Berlin. I am very glad that you have again managed, honorable Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to organize such an important conference, this time here in a capital of Europe. I am confident that you will succeed in providing us with ample food for thought.
5 Issues of Concern
Daily Scripture Readings
The Hurriyet Daily News reports on 'Hagia Sophia, Halki mark religious freedom panels' by Vercihan Ziflioğlu
An international conference on “religious freedom in Turkey,” was held in Berlin, focusing on the Hagia Sophia and Halki Seminary issues, which have remained problematic for decades.
I have spent the past three days in the German capital, to attend an international conference organized by the Archons, a religious order whose main focus is to protect the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. But the conference, aptly titled “Tearing down walls,” was focused not only on the Ecumenical Patriarchate or the tiny Greek Orthodox community in Turkey but also other religious minorities that suffer religious freedom violations.
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