Turkish President Gül meets Syriac Church leader

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Vercihan Ziflio?lu Vercihan Ziflio?lu vercihan.ziflioglu@hurriyet.com.tr
Turkish President Gül (2L) welcomes a delegation led by Patriarchal Vicar of the Syriac Orthodox Church Çetin (2R). AA photo
President Abdullah Gül welcomed Patriarchal Vicar of the Syriac Orthodox Church Mor Filiksinos Yusuf Çetin on Feb. 18 along with an accompanying delegation in Ankara.

Sait Susin, president of the Meryem Ana Church Foundation, who was among the delegation, told the Hürriyet Daily News that it was a “positive meeting,” and that the Mor Gabriel Monastery was among the main issues spoken about in the meeting.

“We spoke about Mor Gabriel and other areas that were seen ‘occupied’ in Turabidin [around the southeastern province of Mardin and Midyat],” Susin said, referring to the monastery, an area that was given to the treasury despite several appeals from the Syriac Church.

“The president’s approach to our demands was very positive,” Susin acknowledged. “He told us those issues were gradually being solved with steps of democratization.”

Susin added that they addressed their concerns about “negative remarks” on Syriacs in 10th-grade school books.

Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Ba??? also attended the meeting, which was closed to the press.