U.S. Congressman: we want Turkey to acknowledge Armenian Genocide

U.S. Congressman: we want Turkey to acknowledge Armenian Genocide

December 17, 2011 – 09:46 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – A growing number of Members of the House of
Representatives have praised the passage this week of a landmark
resolution calling upon Turkey to return the Christian church
properties it stole through genocide, and to end its repression of the
surviving members of the vast Christian civilizations that once
represented a majority in the territory of the present-day Republic of
Turkey, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Following the December 13 adoption of H.Res.306, Members of Congress
including Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Hahn (D-CA), Michael Grimm
(R-NY), Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Robert Dold (R-IL) and Joseph Crowley
have added their voices to the call for expanded religious freedom in
Turkey.

House Members spotlighted Turkey’s decades of repression of the
Christian communities within modern-day Turkey’s borders, with many
urging the Turkish government to recognize the genocide against the
Armenian, Greek, Assyrian, and Syriac communities which served as the
basis for confiscation of the vast majority of Christian churches.

`Religious tolerance has long been a problem for Turkey, which has yet
to remedy the desecration of the religious properties of over 2
million Armenians and Greeks and Assyrians and Syriacs over the last
100 years,’ Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) said.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) commented: `We want Christian communities in
Turkey to enjoy the same rights and privileges that religious
minorities enjoy in this country… We want Turkey to acknowledge the
Armenian Genocide. This is not too much to ask.’

`Turkey which has such a profound connection with the birth and growth
of Christianity, has today expropriated church properties, harassed
worshipers, and refused to grant full legal status to some Christian
groups,’ Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) said.

Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) noted: `For too long, the U.S. has allowed
Turkey to elude responsibility for the destruction of Armenian
churches. With this resolution, Congress sends a stern message to
Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan – the United States will not
tolerate Turkish assaults on Armenian heritage and religious freedom.’

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