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15 May, 1998
The chairman of the US House of Representatives' standing committee on international relations, Ben Gilman, addressed a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz on Wednesday detailing concerns over continuing attacks against the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
"Last year following a grenade attack upon the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which as you know was not the first such attack, I wrote the Turkish Ambassador to request that your government do everything within its power to ensure the safety and security of the Patriarch, his personnel, and property belonging to the Church," the letter stated.
"Regrettably there is an ongoing campaign in Turkey by certain individuals to attack institutions of the Orthodox Church, the most recent manifestation of which is the vandalizing and desecration of the Orthodox Cemetery of Saint Eleftherios in Istanbul ...I know that your government has expressed its strong view that acts of intolerance aimed at any religion are unacceptable.
"I would therefore very much appreciate learning of any further measures Turkish authorities plan to take to ensure that the property of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is secure, and to bring the perpetrators of these despicable crimes to justice," his let ter concludes.
Source: Athens News Agency