Turkey’s president meets with country’s minority groups

The leaders of Turkey’s eight minority foundations have been hosted for the first time at the presidential summer compound in the history of Turkey.

The strongest cases at the meeting belonged to the three Syriac foundations. The Catholic Syriac group planned to put forward its readiness to relocate the Church’s Patriarchate in Beirut to Turkey, and demand the return of their historical Patriarchate building in Mardin, Hürriyet Daily News reporter informs.

The event also brought together Armenian Surp P?rgiç Foundation Hospital head Bedros ?irino?lu, Armenian Catholic Foundation leader Bernard Sar?bay, and representatives from the Syriac Orthodox and Greek foundations, from the Jewish and Bulgarian communities.

The Armenian and Greek communities—except for the Catholic Armenian Foundation—said they would thank President Abdullah Gül for his support of the Foundations Law, which went into force last year.

But there was a crisis just before the meeting when it was revealed that a request from the Gedikpa?a Armenian Protestant Bible Church to attend the meeting had been refused.

“They call us ‘missionaries;’ they won’t give us a church building when we request it, they shut us in apartments and then insult our churches because they are in apartment buildings; this is a great contradiction,” the Church representative Cem Ercin said.