November 26, 2013

Contact: George Gigicos
[email protected]

(Berlin, Germany) The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in cooperation with the Patriarchal Liaison Office to the European Union and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Germany, has announced that Professor Ilber Ortayli, Fatma Benli and His Eminence, Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa will be among the featured speakers and panelists at the 2nd Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom set to take place at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin, Germany on December 4-5, 2013.

Professor Ilber Ortayli is a leading Ottoman historian and professor of history at Galatasarary University in Istanbul and at Bilkent University in Ankara. He has been the head of Istanbul's Topkapi Museum since 2005.

Fatma Benli is a Lawyer, human rights activist and Turkey's representative to the International Jurists Union.  In a recent publication by Georgetown University, Benli was listed as one of the world's 500 most influential Muslims.  

His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa is the Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of the Holy Trinity on the Island of Halki.  He is the former Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. 

Ortayli, Benli and Metropolitan Elpidophoros will join former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who will address the Conference via video, along with 35 other world-renowned speakers and panelists from the interfaith, diplomatic, journalistic, legal and academic communities.

Dr. Anthony Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate stated, "We are very pleased that so many of the world's leading thinkers in the areas of religious freedom and human rights will be participating in this important Conference. It demonstrates the serious nature of our endeavor and the depth of our dialogue. This Conference is not afraid to look at the realities of the day and find constructive, positive responses to the challenges at hand."

The Conference will focus on religious freedom issues affecting minorities in Turkey stressing the concepts of equality, state neutrality and pluralism as they relate to religious freedom and the status of religious freedom under Turkey's current and proposed new constitutions.

For more information on the conference, the Archons and to view a complete list of speaker and panelist bios, please visit

This event is open to the press. To request a media credential, please email [email protected] or contact George Gigicos at 561-400-3604.

To follow the Conference proceedings on Twitter, use #ReligiousFreedom