GREEK PATRIARCH URGES RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOR TURKEY'S MINORITIES
Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I said the new Turkish constitution should grant greater religious freedom to the country's minorities after he paid a landmark visit to a Turkish parliamentary commission working on the new document.
On Monday, Feb 20, Patriarch Bartholomew I met with members of a parliamentary subcommittee seeking an all-party consensus for a new constitution, which will replace the one ratified in 1982 while the country was under military rule.
Bartholomew told reporters after speaking to the commission that he favors a constitution that promotes equal rights and religious freedoms, including the reopening of a Greek Orthodox seminary that has trained generations of patriarchs.
"We do not want to be second-class citizens. Unfortunately, minorities have faced many injustices so far. These are gradually being corrected, changed. A new Turkey is emerging. We never lost hope. We are now very happy. We are sure that our ideas will be taken into consideration as we want nothing more than our rights as Turkish citizens," he said.
The Greek patriarch added that he attaches much importance to an invitation from Turkish Parliament for him to meet with Constitutional Commission members, noting that they want the new constitution to be the constitution of all in Turkey, Today's Zaman reported.
- 2Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I said the new Turkish constitution should grant greater religious freedom to the country's minorities after he paid a landmark visit to a Turkish parliamentary ...
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