CHP leader meets with leaders of religious communities

A meeting between main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu and representatives of Turkey’s non-Muslim communities at a dinner held on Tuesday night took place in a friendly and warm ambiance, a CHP deputy chairman said on Wednesday.

At Tuesday’s dinner, K?l?çdaro?lu met with Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew, Chief Rabbi of Turkish Jews ?sak Haleva, Archbishop Aram Ate?yan of the Armenian Patriarchate, Turkish Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yusuf Çetin and Deputy Patriarch of the Turkey’s Syriac Catholic Church Yusuf Sa? as well as other members of various civil society organizations representing these religious communities.

CHP Deputy Chairman Faruk Lo?o?lu, CHP parliamentary group deputy chairman Akif Hamzaçebi, several CHP deputies, Party Council members and the mayors of the Adalar and Sar?yer districts were also in attendance at the meeting, which was closed to the press. Journalists were briefly allowed to take photographs before the start of the event.

On Wednesday, Lo?o?lu released a written statement about the dinner. The statement noted that the CHP’s initiative to meet with representatives of non-Muslim communities was welcomed by the religious leaders, who stated that their only demand was to be treated equally with any other citizen of the Republic of Turkey. The statement said the guests also requested the help of the CHP in resolving certain issues.

K?l?çdaro?lu expressed his happiness at having met with the leaders and members of the civil society groups that represent religious minorities and noted that the CHP was committed to addressing the issues of non-Muslim communities.