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House Panel Strengthens U.S. Call for Turkey to Return Christian Holy Sites

by Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). June 26, 2014.

Posted: Monday, June 30, 2014 at 04:08 PM UT


Return of Churches | Freedom of Faith | Protection of Christian Rights | Defense of Religious Freedom.  Tekor Village, Turkey, Khetzkonk Monastery, 1900s vs. 2000.

“Americans of Armenian, Greek and Assyrian heritage – the descendants of those subjected to genocide by Ottoman Turkey from 1915-1923 and whose churches continue to be held captive by the Turkish Government – join with friends of all faiths in welcoming Committee passage of the Royce-Engel Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act.”

— Ken Hachikian
ANCA Chairman

Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). Press Release, June 26, 2014.

Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 * Email: anca [ a t ] anca.org

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release ~ 2014-06-26
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell

BREAKING NEWS: HOUSE PANEL STRENGTHENS U.S. CALL FOR TURKEY TO RETURN CHRISTIAN HOLY SITES

House Foreign Affairs Committee Beats Back Ankara's Attacks; Adopts Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act

WASHINGTON, DC — The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a powerful religious freedom measure this morning holding Turkey accountable for the return of thousands of stolen Christian holy sites and urging the immediate opening of the Greek Orthodox Halki Theological Seminary, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (D-NY) led the effort which received broad bipartisan support despite a last minute campaign led by pro-Turkey lobbyists to gut the measure. An amended version of H.R. 4347 was adopted by voice vote.

“Americans of Armenian, Greek and Assyrian heritage – the descendants of those subjected to genocide by Ottoman Turkey from 1915-1923 and whose churches continue to be held captive by the Turkish Government – join with friends of all faiths in welcoming Committee passage of the Royce-Engel Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act,” said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian. “The adoption of this measure sends a strong signal to Ankara that it must stop its anti-Christian conduct and start coming to terms with its moral, material, and legal obligations to Armenians, Syriacs, Cypriots, Pontians, and other victims of Turkey’s still unpunished genocidal crimes.”

Introduced this March of this year by Chairman Royce along with the panel's Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (D-NY), H.R. 4347 would require that the U.S. Department of State formally report to Congress on an annual basis about the status of Turkey's return of stolen Christian churches and properties in Turkey and occupied Cyprus. H.R. 4347 builds on a measure (H.Res.306), spearheaded by Chairman Royce and then House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Democrat Howard Berman (D-CA), which was overwhelmingly adopted by the House of Representatives on December 13, 2011. That resolution set the groundwork for H.R.4347 by calling upon the government of Turkey to honor its international obligations to return confiscated Christian church properties and to fully respect the rights of Christians to practice their faiths.

In the days leading up the vote, the ANCA worked closely with Armenian American religious leaders and Hellenic American groups including the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA), American Hellenic Institute (AHI) and American Hellenic Council (AHC) in securing Committee passage of the measure.

The full text of the legislation as amended will be available shortly.

 

H.R. 4347, Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act

Chairman Ed Royce Opening Statement on Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act. House Foreign Affairs Committee, H.R. 4347. June 26, 2014.

To require the Secretary of State to provide an annual report to Congress regarding United States Government efforts to survey and secure the return, protection, and restoration of stolen, confiscated, or otherwise unreturned Christian properties in the Republic of Turkey and in those areas currently occupied by the Turkish military in northern Cyprus.

H.R. 4347, Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act, June 26, 2014. H.R. 4347, Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act, Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute, June 26, 2014. H.R. 4347, Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act, authenticated, June 26, 2014.
H.R. 4347, Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act, June 26, 2014. H.R. 4347, Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act, Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute, June 26, 2014. H.R. 4347, Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act, authenticated and searchable PDF, June 26, 2014.


The Jihad Against the Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Christians
U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Urges Turkey to Return Christian Churches
U.S. Congress House Resolution 306 - Urging the Republic of Turkey to safeguard its Christian heritage and to return confiscated church properties
Mouradian to Discuss Turkey's Confiscation of Christian Churches at Armenian Cause 2.0
Sassounian: From Genocide Recognition to Reclaiming Church Properties
Turkey destroys Armenian, Greek, Assyrian cultural artifacts

(Turkish/English) The "Nestorians" an Ancient people, we turned their Churches into stables. - (Turkish) Kiliselerini Ahıra Çevirdiğimiz Kadim Bir Halk "NASTURİLER"

His Father Was One of the Perpetrators;
He is the First to Ask for Forgiveness Through Action

Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic Genocide NewsArmenian, Assyrian and Hellenic Genocide News


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