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Letter which is to be released to American embassies in Athens, Ankara, and various media outlets

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Hellenic Electronic Center (HEC)

A Non-Profit Organization Registered in the US

with 37,000 Hellenes as members and

36 Hellenic associations in the US and abroad

The following press release seeks to focus attention on the ongoing human rights violations by the Turkish government against the Greek population of the Republic of Cyprus which has been occupied by the Turkish military since 1974, and the ongoing persecution of the Greek minority and Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey. Just last week, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rendered a decision pertaining to the Turkish government's illegal seizure of an orphanage from the Greek Orthodox community in Turkey, and has demanded that Turkey return the confiscated property to the Greek minority.
Two other ECHR decisions against Turkey pertain to the ongoing occupation of Cyprus. In two legal decisions, Ankara was found responsible for the murders of Greek Cypriot protesters Tasos Isaac and Solomos Solomou which occurred during the summer of 1996. The European Court of Human Rights is to be commended for its rulings in the above legal decisions. What remains disturbing is that little attention has been given to these significant legal rulings by governmental institutions and media alike.
The significance of the legal decisions against Turkey by the European Court on Human Rights must be stressed considering both the favorable treatment bestowed on Turkey by the West (especially by the United States government) and the media, and by recent events in Turkey itself. The arrests in Turkey of over two dozen individuals linked to the Turkish military for conspiring against the civilian leadership raise concern for the future of the Christian minorities in Turkey. Recent news coverage of the arrests have failed to mention that similar rogue elements in Turkey planned the assassinations of the Armenian and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchs during the summer of 2007.
For several years now, Turkish ultranationalists have been actively harassing the Ecumenical Patriarchate and have actively campaigned for its expulsion from Turkey. As such, this press release asks its recipients to show greater awareness and sensitivity for the victims of human rights violations in the occupied territories of Cyprus and Turkey proper.

 

Theodore G. Karakostas This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 


Member of HEC Executive Council

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Last updated: 6 August 2008

 
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