05/12/2020, 10.07
TURKEY
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Patriarch Bartholomew, the rabbi, and group of Armenians accused of supporting 'the arch-terrorist' Fethullah Gülen

by NAT da Polis

The charge is published in journal close to President Erdogan.  John Paul II, the former Armenian patriarch of Turkey Snork Kaloustian, Hillary Clinton and some already deceased Turkish politicians also accused. Phanar points to risk that such reporting "could spark dangerous acts of racism and intolerance". The Jewish community: "Unfounded accusations ... in a publication of hatred".

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - The ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew; the chief rabbi of Istanbul, Isahak Kahleva; some members of the Armenian community are being described as collaborators of the Fethullah Gülen movement, the imam exiled in the United States since 1999, for opposing the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The accusation is contained in a special 176-page edition of the Turkish Islamist magazine "Gerçek Hayat", which belongs to the editorial group of the pro-government newspaper "Yeni Safak", owned by the family of the Turkish president’s son-in-law.

In the special edition, entitled "Fetus", the long history of the movement of Fethullah Gülen, defined as "arch-terrorist" is traced with religious minorities in Turkey and their leaders targeted and accused of having supported the failed coup d'état of 16 July 2016 against President Erdogan.

In addition to Patriarch Bartholomew and Rabbi Isahak Kahleva, Pope John Paul II, the former Armenian Patriarch of Turkey Snork Kaloustian, as well as Hillary Clinton and already deceased Turkish politicians such as Ismet Inonu, Bulent Ecevit and Suleyman Demirel are also named and branded.

The Phanar and the Jewish community in Istanbul. In its release, the Ecumenical Patriarchate states that the information reported in the magazine, which targets religious leaders and members of minorities, "is completely false and biased."

"The publication of these claims - continues the patriarchal communiqué - cause distress among Christians, Jews and Muslims and are particularly serious and irresponsible, because they undermine the unity of our people".

Unfortunately, continues the Phanar statement, “such information is extremely dangerous and could be the cause of dangerous acts of racism and intolerance. The same ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew feels very bitter and resentful for the accusations that have been made against him, despite his efforts for the good of our country ".

"Therefore - concludes the statement - we are convinced that the competent Turkish authorities will do justice".

The Turkish Jewish community in Istanbul intervened with a post on its Twitter account, stating: "We condemn the discrimination and provocation caused by these publications, with baseless accusations against our chief rabbi. These hate publications are damaging Turkey. For our part, we hope for an immediate restoration of the truth against these publications of hate - through correct information and legal means - as they influence our Turkey, of which we are an integral part. "

Disinformation and campaigns have occurred very frequently in the history of Turkey, both Ottoman and republican. According to Mihail Vassiliadis, director of the historical Turkish newspaper in Greek, "Apgevmatini", a new fact is emerging: for the first time, non-Muslim minorities have expressed themselves and protested openly, making it clear that they will not accept abuses such as in the past.

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