ISTANBUL (Marmara)–The leaders of the three religious denominations in Turkey issued a joint announcement Thursday–saying that they would prefer to discuss matters related to the Armenian community in Turkey directly with Turkish authorities through dialogue. The announcement added that such matters must not become a precondition for Turkey’s admission to the European Union.
On Wednesday–the European Parliament passed an amendment to a report about Turkey–demanding that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey become a precondition for its membership in the EU.
The Turkish Armenian community five organizations–as well as the neighborhood councils and the leaders of the Catholic and Evangelical communities attended a meeting called by the Armenian Patriarchate and chaired by Patriarch Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan.
In his opening remarks–the Patriarch said that up to that point he had responded to press inquiries on behalf of the entire community. However–the current situation warranted the participation all facets of the community.
He added that the decision approved by the European Parliament–which also included a portion dealing with the Armenian community of Turkey–left the impression that members of the Armenian community had appealed for assistance from Europe. He stressed that was not the case.
The Patriarch added that there were no pressures on the Armenian community of Turkey and there have been no government deman’s placed on the community.
The meeting concluded that the Armenian community in Turkey has not made any appeals to the European Parliament–and–as always–the community would like to resolve any matter with Turkish authorities through dialogue.