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Syriac Christian elected in Turkey after 50 years

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Syriac Christian elected in Turkey after 50 years

Jun-18-2011 at 07:42 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Supporters of Turkey's ruling party the Justice and Development Party (AKP) celebrate with party flags after the first results of the parliamentary election in front of party headquarters in Ankara on June 12, 2011. A Syriac Christian has been elected to Turkey's new parliament, not seen in the overwhelmingly Muslim country for 50 years, it was reported Monday.
Photograph by: Adem Altan, AFP/Getty Images
Syriac Christian elected in Turkey after 50 years
by Agence France-Presse, June 15, 2011.

ANKARA — A Syriac Christian has been elected to Turkey's new parliament, not seen in the overwhelmingly Muslim country for 50 years, it was reported Monday.

Erol Dora, 47, is a member of the orthodox Syriac Church and part of a small community also known as Assyrians based in Mardin in southern Turkey.

Elected as an independent, Dora was nevertheless backed by the main pro-Kurd group the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in Sunday's vote.

The sole Christian member of parliament, dominated once again by the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), has committed himself to being a voice for the country's Christians.

After his election Dora called on the European Union to welcome Turkey as a member and show that it is not a "Christian club", the Cihan news agency reported.

Turkey is home to Armenian Christians and members of the Greek Orthodox Church as well as Syriacs.

The country has seen a number of attacks against Christian communities in recent years.


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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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