Open Letter to Turkey Rapporteur Re Forthcoming EU Resolution on Turkey 2011 Progress Report

Dear Ms. Oomen-Ruijten,

On behalf of the Syriac Universal Alliance, the global voice of the Aramean (Syriac) people, I am writing to you concerning your Draft Motion for a Resolution on the Turkey 2011 Progress Report ("Draft Motion").

On 16 January 2012, the SUA requested the Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs to consider three amendments and four new articles to the Draft Motion (see http://sua-ngo.org/node/1362). It encourages us that a significant number of notable MEPs have adopted and tabled them as amendments. This shows their acknowledgment of the precarious position of the Aramean people in Southeast Turkey.

During the upcoming consideration of and vote on the Draft Motion in the Committee on Foreign Affairs, we request you to take up the amendments of your colleagues. They are not just of critical importance to the Aramean people, but also to the distinguished MEPs who represent a large number of Europeans.

I understand that the issue of religious freedom in Turkey, a significant topic that indeed merits attention from the EU, is one of your main concerns. For the Aramean Christians in Turkey, this is only part of the story. As clarified in the earlier referenced letter, today we have other, more significant and urgent matters that deserve the full attention of both the Turkish Government and the EU.

We admire your privileged position to assist Turkey in developing into a democratic state in line with European standards. And we truly hope that, one day in the future, this will benefit all of Turkey’s citizens. However, that joyful day may in fact come too late for the native Aramean people and Aramaic cultural heritage in Southeast Turkey who, as is widely acknowledged by experts, are on the verge of extinction.

Hence we appeal to you in your capacity as the EU Rapporteur on Turkey. For reasons given in my earlier letter, it would be a great opportunity to align your 2011 Resolution on Turkey with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Resolution 1704 which recognizes the hitherto ignored plight of the Aramean people in and from Turkey. However, not only should the EU adopt the wording of this PACE Resolution, but also show leadership by adopting the tabled amendments to your Draft Motion.

I would very much appreciate it if I could discuss the pressing situation of the indigenous Aramean (Syriac) people of Southeast Turkey with you in Brussels at the end of March.

I thank you kindly in advance for your consideration and look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Johny Messo
Syriac Universal Alliance




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