“Religious freedoms continue unfortunately to be threatened by feelings of hatred and intolerance in Turkey, which have been cultivated within certain circles,” the head of the Greek delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy, Maximos Charakopoulos, stated on the occasion of the accusations published by the Turkish magazine “Gerçek Hayat” against the Ecumenical Patriarch, as well as other religious leaders.
In his statement, Maximos Charakopoulos points out that religious freedoms continue to be threatened by feelings of hatred and intolerance in Turkey, which have been cultivated within certain circles. The article published by the Turkish magazine “Gerçek Hayat” is rather alarming, because it targets the Ecumenical Patriarch, as well as other religious leaders, with slanderous and completely baseless accusations.
The disparaging and the unfounded claims of the authors of the article fuel hostility and cultivate hatred against religious leaders and minorities in Turkey. However, such practices have been repeatedly condemned in the past by International and European Organisations, such as the UN Human Rights Council.
It is noteworthy that the fake news that had been published by a Turkish newspaper triggered the events of September 1955, that is the pogrom against the Greek minority of Constantinople. In any case, their actions must be condemned by every free citizen worldwide. We expect that the Turkish state will officially clarify its stance. The Ecumenical Patriarch, as well as the Ecumenical Patriarchate, must be fully protected by official institutions, and, therefore, such practices must initiate court proceedings, because they incite religious hatred. The international community, and above all the EU, is responsible for the protection the Ecumenical Patriarch.