ANKARA – Turkish Daily News
The Fener Patriarchate expressed its sympathy yesterday over the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and urged the world to work for peace in the “Holy Land.”
The statement from the Istanbul-based Patriarchate said Arafat “worked tirelessly for the progress of the Palestinians and peace in the Middle East” and praised him for respecting Muslim and Christian shrines.
“The dream for peace in the Middle East was not realized in Yasser Arafat’s lifetime, but it is a dream that must be kept alive by the rest of the world, as we keep it always in our prayers,” the statement said. “The Patriarchate makes a plea to whoever is able to contribute to a peaceful resolution in the Holy Lands that they do so immediately, reminding everyone that a basic prerequisite for this is the respect for the sanctity of the human person, his freedom and dignity.”
Patriarch Bartholomew I has spiritual authority over the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians and directly controls several Greek Orthodox churches around the world.