The Mor Gabriel Monastery was founded in 397 AD. It is one of the oldest Christian Monasteries in the world. Apart from a number of short spells, it has been a place of worship for more than 1600 of the Syrian Orthodox church.
Cadastral decisions and a number of court cases threaten to take away most or all of its grounds, which the Monastery has possessed for ages and over which it has been paying taxes. This will be a direct threat to the survival of this religious and cultural heritage.
At present the Turkish authorities do not seem to be willing to recognize the Syrian Orthodox church. The community is therefore forced to teach its own language, Aramaic at for instance Oxford University but not in Turkey. The protection of minority rights under the treaty of Lausanne is not extended to the Syrian Orthodox community. This leaves Turkish citizens of the Syrian Orthodox community with less rights than for instance the Judaic, the Armenian-Orthodox or the Greek-Orthodox community, let alone the Muslim majority.
To ask the Committee of Ministers,
OMTZIGT Pieter, Netherlands, EPP/CD
BEMELMANS-VIDEC Marie-Louise, Netherlands, EPP/CD
GARDETTO Jean-Charles, Monaco, EPP/CD
JONKER Corien W.A., Netherlands, EPP/CD
POURGOURIDES Christos, Cyprus, EPP/CD
WEEKERS Frans, Netherlands, ALDE