Saturday, July 05, 2014

Ankara criticizes 'anti-Turkish' bill on Christian properties

Turkey has strongly criticized a U.S. House committee bill that directs the State Department to monitor the return of property confiscated from Christians in Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

"While the clear and concrete steps that Turkey has taken for the improvement of the rights and freedoms of all of its citizens, including for the non-Muslim minorities are evident; attempts by anti-Turkish circles in the U.S. Congress, driven by domestic political considerations, to push such unconstructive and baseless initiatives are unacceptable," Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a statement June 27.

The bill, which passed through the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, requires the U.S. secretary of state to provide an annual report to Congress regarding Washington's efforts to secure the return and restoration of "stolen, confiscated, or otherwise unreturned Christian properties" in Turkey and the northern Cyprus.

Terming the bill as "null and void as far as Turkey is concerned," the statement stressed that such initiatives were incongruous with the existing spirit of partnership and alliance between the two traditional allies.


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