13December2017

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION IN SPECIAL CONSULTATIVE STATUS WITH THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Council of Europe – Report on Freedom of religion and other human rights for non-Muslim minorities in Turkey and for the Muslim minority in Eastern Greece

  Stockholm

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Syriac Universal Alliance (the “SUA”) refers to the report (Doc. 11860) by Mr. Michel Hunault, Freedom of religion and other human rights for non-Muslim minorities in Turkey and for the Muslim minority in Thrace (Eastern Greece), dated 21 April 2009 (the “Report”). We understand that this Report will be further discussed at the next Council of Europe meeting on 27 January 2010 and we wish to provide you with two (2) Recommendations in relation to the content of the Report. 

The Syriac Universal Alliance (the “SUA”) refers to the report (Doc. 11860) by Mr. Michel Hunault, Freedom of religion and other human rights for non-Muslim minorities in Turkey and for the Muslim minority in Thrace (Eastern Greece), dated 21 April 2009 (the “Report”). We understand that this Report will be further discussed at the next Council of Europe meeting on 27 January 2010 and we wish to provide you with two (2) Recommendations in relation to the content of the Report.

The SUA is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 1999. It is the leading voice of the Syriac (Aramean) people who are indigenous to Southeast Turkey and thus rightfully seek minority rights protections, undifferentiated from the protections afforded to other minorities and native peoples of the world.

The SUA has thoroughly reviewed the Report and commends the efforts made in dealing with minority rights protections. While the Report deals primarily with Greek-Turkish issues, there are several instances in which the Syriac Christian community within Turkey are also mentioned. Clearly, the Council of Europe recognises the current and historic hardships faced by the Syriac people in Turkey. In our respectful opinion, the Report can better serve its purpose by further considering the predicament of this marginalized and ignored people. In assisting to achieve the objective of the Report, the SUA has outlined below two significant recommendations to the Council of Europe.

As you are aware, the quintessential values of minority rights and democracy are the underpinnings of civilised society and indispensable for European stability and progression. The recommendations are therefore pertinent to ensuring the proper advancement of minority rights under democratic governance in Turkey. For the record, the proposed recommendations are merely a reflection of what is required in response to the devastating realities faced by the Syriac minority.

 

 

 

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