On Thursday, 16 November, 69 lay representatives of the Armenian Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical communities in Turkey assembled in the Holy Resurrection Chapel of the Holy Mother-of-God Patriarchal Church in Kumkapi, Istanbul. His Beatitude Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul and all Turkey, presided over the Assembly, assisted by two bishops and the representatives of the Armenian Catholic and Evangelical Churches.
The Assembly examined the 15 November European Parliament resolution on Turkey’s application for accession to the EU, that “invited the Turkish government and assembly to increase their support of the Armenian minority.”
The Turkish Armenian Assembly issued the following statement at the end of its deliberations:
“The Armenians in Turkey find it odd that the Report on Turkey ratified by the European Parliament refers to the Turkish citizens of Armenian descent, as the Armenians in Turkey do not have such expectation of “support” nor have applied to third-parties for such support. The Armenians in Turkey have always preferred to find solutions to their minority problems by way of engaging in dialogue directly with the Turkish Government.
“Indeed, a short while ago, such matters were brought to the attention of proper government authorities, during a meeting invited by Mr. Mesut Yilmaz, State Minister in charge of European Affairs.
“The Turkish Armenian Assembly believes that the best way of resolving pending issues between the Armenian community and the Turkish government is through direct talks between them and should not be on the agenda of third-party parliaments or their action plan. Our communal issues should not hinder the process of Turkey’s full membership and integration in the European Union.”
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