Athens-based NGO criticizes package
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
A Greek NGO, based in Athens, says the most important issue that was yet to be compensated was the reopening of the Halki Seminary in Istanbul. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELThe Istanbul Rums Universal Federation (IREF), an NGO based in Athens to represent the Greeks of Istanbul who migrated to Greece, released a statement yesterday, criticizing Ankara’s democratization package.
“We observe with sorrow that the democracy package, which [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan announced, is far from containing the country’s most important issue, that being the compensation of previous injustice. This observation is not only limited to the Rum [Anatolian Greeks] Community, which is subject to the Treaty of Lausanne, but also to all the communities of Turkey that have experienced damage due to undemocratic attitudes in the past,” read a part of the statement.
The statement said the most important issue that was yet to be compensated was the reopening of the Halki Seminary in Istanbul. Nikolaos Uzunoğlu, head of the IREF, told the Hürriyet Daily News that the government had correctly identified society’s problems but was far from finding the right solutions.
“As Rums, our offer is very concrete; we want our school to be opened. The seminary was shut down as a result of a decision met by the Minorities Secondary Commission in 1971. The school has been closed for 42 years, there is no need for it not to be opened,” said Uzunoğlu.