TODAYSZAMAN.COM / ISTANBUL
CHP leader Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu (R) shake hands with Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew in ?stanbul on Monday. (Photo: Cihan)
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu and non-Muslim religious leaders of Turkey discussed on Monday the problems of minorities in the country.
In his remarks to reporters in ?stanbul following the meeting closed to press, K?l?çdaro?lu said that during the meeting he listened to the problems of religious leaders.
Kiliçdaro?lu stated that while some of the problems religious leaders voiced stem from law, others were caused by implementation. “We will make efforts for the solution of the problems that stem from implementation,” K?l?çdaro?lu was quoted by Cihan news agency as saying.
“Some of the problems they conveyed to us will be brought to Parliament’s agenda,” K?l?çdaro?lu said.
Among the problems voiced by the religious leaders were some of the rhetoric that is used and problems within the context of hate speech, the CHP leader said.
During the meeting, the CHP stated that as a party that adopted not to intervene into people’s lifestyles, religions or question people over their ethnic identity as the main principle, the CHP wants to live in peace and harmony with the 77 million people in this country.
K?l?çdaro?lu said the CHP’s only demand is that with the general elections scheduled to be held on July 7, not to give any opportunity to a political mentality that polarizes the public, alienates citizens, intervenes in people’s lifestyles and questions people’s religions.
“No one should use people’s beliefs and ethnic identity as a tool for politics,” K?l?çdaro?lu concluded.
Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew; chief rabbi of Turkey’s Jewish community, Isak Haleva; Armenian Deputy Patriarch Archbishop, Aram Ate?yan; Turkish Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yusuf Çetin; and the deputy patriarch of the Turkish Syriac Catholic Church, Yusuf Sa? attended the talks with K?l?çdaro?lu.
The CHP leader was accompanied by Deputy Chairmen Murat Özçelik and Sezgin Tanr?kulu, the CHP’s ?stanbul chairman, Murat Karayalç?n, and ?stanbul Sar?yer Mayor ?ükrü Genç.
Turkish Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yusuf Çetin speaks to reporters. (Photo: DHA)
In his remarks after the meeting, Haleva said the future of the country was discussed during the meeting.
“The problems of our communities have been asked. We don’t have any specific problems. We asked for our country to live in peace and tranquility,” Havela said.
Çetin said religious leaders voiced their problems during the meeting held upon an invitation from K?l?çdaro?lu. “We are all a family. Our religions and sects may remain different, but we are all in the same boat. Every person that lives in this country may have problems, but we believe that we will solve these problems by acting together,” Çetin said, adding that Syriac Orthodoxies want to be represented in Parliament.
CHP welcomes Greek election results
Responding to a question on the elections in neighboring Greece in which leftist Syriza party swept to victory in a snap election, K?l?çdaro?lu said it is wonderful that a party that shares the same worldview as the CHP won the elections in Greece.