Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Turkey Continues to Persecute Christians

While reading the web sites of The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate I found the Yale University School of Law White Paper that discusses Turkey's failure to live up to its obligations to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its Orthodox Christian minority. This is a paper that was prepared at the request of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and released on December 11, 2004.

Turkey's Compliance With Its Obligations To The Ecumenical Patriarchate and Orthodox Christian Minority (Requires Adobe Reader)

Anyone who believes that Turkey is a country where Christians can worship freely and where the Clergy can function in a way that we in the West would consider normal is wrong. Although Turkey is no longer chopping off the heads of Christians the persecution is there.

Turkey has never relented from its plan to depopulate the land of the Christians who were there before the Ottoman Turks. Asia Minor was a predominately Greek and Christian land even until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That is no longer true. A genocide occurred that is little remembered today. This comes from The Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. I'll not repeat all of the quotes, but here are a few;
“The Turks have decided upon a war of extermination against their Christian subjects.”
German Ambassador Wangenheim to German Chancellor von Bulow, quoting Turkish Prime Minister Sefker Pasha, July 24, 1909.

“...the entire Greek population of Sinope and the coastal region of the county of Kastanome has been exiled. Exile and extermination in Turkish are the same, for whoever is not murdered, will die from hunger or illness.”
Herr Kuchhoff, German consul in Amissos in a despatch to Berlin, July 16, 1916.

“The time is near for Turkey to be finished with the Greeks as we were with the Armenians in 1915.”
Talaat Bey [Minister of Internal Affairs - ed.] as quoted by an Austro-Hungarian agent, January 31, 1917
There is much more. Genocide was committed in all of Asia Minor, Pontus, and Armenia. Turkey denies this to this day and takes aggressive action against whomever tries to remember it. Europe remembers the Armenian Genocide, but few remember the others.

Genocide of the Pontian Greeks
26 July 1909 Sefker Pasha [Turkish Prime Minister - ed.] visited Patriarch Ioakeim III and tells him: "we will cut off your heads, we will make you disappear. It is either you or us who will survive."
Although the Turks no longer openly murder their Christians, the persecutions continue, as Yale University School of Law White Paper makes clear.

I go to church with people who lost family members in the Pontian Genocide, it would be nice if Turkey would at least acknowlege that it occurred, but they deny that any genocide, Armenian or Pontian, occurred at all.

And now they want to be in the European Union. At least they could be made to offer religious freedon to their citizens first, but Europe has lost her respect for all (Christian) religion during the past 50 years, but that is for another article.

No comments: