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06 10 24 - the letter of Armenian Patrriarch to top Turkish Parlimants

The New Anatolian-Ankara - 20 October 2006- (A.M. USA)
Patriarch voices concern over foundations bill
The New Anatolian/ Ankara
The Armenian patriarch yesterday sent three letters to top Turkish officials expressing his concerns about the recent controversial foundations bill.

Armenian Patriarch in Turkey Mesrob II yesterday sent letters to Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, expressing his concerns over the foundations bill, arguing that the bill would exacerbate long-rooted problems.

Mesrob II, in a letter, also argued that the bill is a violation of the principle of equality in the Constitution and described it as technically flawed.

Stating that he has met with state officials on the issue, the patriarch said they concluded that it would be useful if their opinions on foundations bill were examined.

In his letter, Mesrob II said that the bill was approved by the commission and sent to the Parliament floor before they were able to express their opinions.

Mesrob II said Armenians have no demand other than equal citizenship. "For this reason the evaluation of our rights within the context of reciprocity and being treated as foreigners have deeply saddened us," wrote Mesrob II.

"We are citizens of this country and we think there is nothing more natural than expressing our problems to you and the Parliament," said Mesrob II, arguing the recent bill is a violation of principle of equality.

In another letter to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Mesrob II expressed his concerns about the private education institutions bill. The patriarch asked the president to veto a clause in Article 5 of the bill.

Mesrob II said they welcome the recent legal reforms regarding religious minorities on the way towards democratization.

The patriarch said the bill on private education institutions also interests Armenians since the bill covers Armenian schools.

As in his letter to Arinc, Erdogan and Gul, Mesrob II said the principle of reciprocity shouldn't be applied in this bill too and asked the president to veto a clause in Article 5 of the bill.

President Sezer previously vetoed some articles of the bill and sent it back to Parliament for re-debate.


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