Sunday, 13 March 2011

Lorenzo Fontana Speaks Against Turkey's Accession to the EU

Lorenzo Fontana, of the Italian Northern League, speaks against Turkish accession to the European Union in the EU Parliament's debate on the 2010 Progress Report on Turkey. He mentions the fact that Turkish delegates recently voted against a resolution condemning the persecution of Christians around the world. I hadn't heard of this previously but researched it. It turns out he's right. Turkish representatives voted against this Council of Europe resolution condemning violence against Christians in the Middle East. Apparently they objected to one of its clauses, which specifically referred Christian masses being interrupted and shut down on Christmas day in Cyprus last December.

The text of the clause read as follows:

Following the adoption by the European Parliament of a resolution on the situation of Christians in the context of freedom of religion, on 20 January 2011, the Assembly calls on Turkey to clarify fully the circumstances surrounding the interruption of the celebration of Christmas Mass in the villages of Rizokarpaso and Ayia Triada in the northern part of Cyprus on 25 December 2010 and to bring to justice those responsible.

The incident is described more fully here:

During the morning service on Christmas at the Church of Agios Synesios at Rizokarpaso, located in the northern Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, so-called “police officers” of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime entered the church, ordered the priest to stop the liturgy, forced the priest and the Christian Orthodox Cypriot worshippers attending the service out of the church and proceeded to lock its doors.

The “police officers” claimed that they stopped the service on instructions by the so-called “Ministry of Foreign Affairs” of the occupation regime, because the priest did not obtain prior permission to conduct Christmas service.

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