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Turkey’s Nation of Faiths

ANKARA – After decades of official neglect and mistrust, Turkey has taken several steps to ensure the rights of the country’s non-Muslim religious minorities, and thus to guarantee that the rule of law is applied equally for all Turkish citizens, regardless of individuals’ religion, ethnicity, or language.

Turkey’s religious minorities include Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Assyrian, Kaldani, and other Christian denominations, as well as Jews, all of whom are integral parts of Turkish society. As part of the Turkish government’s new initiative to end any sort of discrimination against these non-Muslim communities, President Abdullah Gül has emphasized that message by receiving Bartholemew, the Greek-Orthodox Patriarch of Istanbul, and by visiting a church and a synagogue in Hatay – a first by a Turkish president.