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U.S. to Turkey: Open Halki Immediately


Resulting from a decision of the subcommittee of the Congress, Washington sent a strict message to Ankara, ordering the immediate opening of the Theological School of Halki.

In specific, the subcommittee of Congress unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Turkish government to reopen the Theological School of Halki, “unconditionally and without any further delay.”

“The Turkish ruling party AKP, raised the hopes of the Orthodox Christians all around the world when it announced that it would reopen the Theological School of Halki, and the proposed democratization package seemed to be the appropriate way for this change,” said Mr. Bill Keating, a senior member of the subcommittee, after the approval of the resolution. However Mr. Keating expressed his concerns about the conditions the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan imposed, in order for the School to reopen.

Mr. Keating continued by saying, “Since then, Mr.Erdogan’s notion regarding Halki have changed and conditions and reciprocity requirements were associated with the reopening of the School. I’m afraid that this kind of policy threatens to put on hold any progress that has been made in Turkey. Additionally, it may divide the Turks and put a halt on the issue of Halki and a lot of other important matters relating to minorities in Turkey.”

The resolution that was approved yesterday, must be submitted to the Parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs before being submitted to the Congress for approval. Nevertheless it is considered that it was a clear message to the Turkish government to fulfill its commitments to the U.S. and to the West in general.

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