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RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN TURKEY APPEAL FOR PEACE

Top religious leaders in Turkey gathered at a summit in Istanbul today in
order to discuss the tragic events in the Holy Land. His Excellency Mehmet Nuri
Yilmaz, Head of the State Directorate for Religious Affairs presided over the
summit, which brought together His Holiness Bartholomew I, Greek Orthodox
(Ecumenical) Patriarch of Istanbul, His Beatitude Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch
of Istanbul and All Turkey, and other  religious dignitaries. His
Excellency the Chief Rabbi of Turkey, Rav David Asseo who presently experiences
frailty in his health, was represented by his deputy Rav Itzhak Haleva.

Following an hour long discussion, the religious leaders convened a press
conference where they issued the following statement: "We, as the
representatives of the three celestial religions living in Turkey, have decided
to share with the public opinion the results of our evaluations of the recent
developments in the world with respect to the disturbance of a peace atmosphere
and particularly the recent situation in the Middle East.

1.- There may be those who attribute the roots of the ongoing wars in the
world to the differences of religions and denominations. However, the reality
behind such wars is comprised of political considerations and economic
interests. Those who want to maintain and reinforce the hegemony of power in the
world encourage the wars. On the other hand, arms dealers and those who aim to
turn natural resources into weapons are escalating the tension in the region.
Their evil ambitions lead to the death of  innocent people, and the
torrents of tear and blood are dragging humanity into a disaster. Such atrocity
is unacceptable by the monotheistic religions that we adhere to.

2. We, as members of monotheistic religions, share the same principles in
terms of moral and human values. These principles defend peace, freedom ethics,
love and an order based on justice. 3. Our common target is to prevent chaos
from the whole universe and let peace prevail. The will of the mighty God is the
realization of peace and harmony by human beings. The realization of peace and
harmony is a duty given to us in this mortal world. The duty of the human being
is his endeavour for the establishment of peace and harmony. If we fail to obey
the values ordered by the Almighty God and forget ethics, virtue and honesty, we
shall then have to pay our dues in our life after death.

4. Encouraging war and terror will not only turn today’s world into hell but
will also sow the seeds of hatred and resentment in the next generations causing
everlasting hostility.

5. Wars violate human rights. To establish rights through blood, tears and
suffering will not provide any good to anyone. The holy books of the three
monotheistic religions we belong to never permit war and violence. 6. We, as the
representatives of the three monotheistic religions living in Turkey, strongly
denounce the violence and the acts of terror particularly in the Middle East and
ongoing wars around world. Within this framework, we ask that these continuing
wars between countries, religions, languages and races be  stopped; that
the fighting in the Middle East be stopped and peace be made; the conflict
should be solved through justice. We especially ask that the attacks directed
against the religious, historical and cultural heritages be stopped. Therefore,
we invite people and states to embrace love, peace, wisdom, friendship,
high  values and common sense. If our plea goes unnoticed, the world will
turn into hell and humanity will be dragged into destruction. We do not 
think it possible that human beings will remain deaf to the call of the Almighty
Creator. May Almighty God protect humanity from the violence of war. Our prayers
are for believers and all of humanity.

Mehmet Nuri YILMAZ

Grand Mufti of Turkey

BARTHOLOMEOS I

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Istanbul

MESROB II

Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul & All Turkey

Itzhak HALEVA

Assistant to the Chief Rabbi of Turkey

Yusuf CETÝN

Syriac Orthodox Prelate in Istanbul

Louis PELATRE

Roman Catholic Prelate in Istanbul

Ohannes COLAKYAN

Armenian Catholic Archbishop in Turkey

Paul KARATAS

Chaldean Archbishop in Turkey

Yusuf SAG

Syriac Catholic Prelate in Turkey

Konstantin KOSTOF

Pastor of the Bulgarian Orthodox community

Yorumlar kapatıldı.

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