The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) today condemned the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s July 20 vote in favor of an amendment singling out Turkey for alleged religious discrimination.
The amendment, inserted into the Fiscal Year 2012 Foreign Relations Authorization Act, calls on the Secretary of State to urge Turkey to end religious discrimination against Christians. The amendment was introduced after the grossly offensive resolution it was based on, H.Res.306, failed to gain traction in the House.
TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy issued the following statement in response:
“This amendment, passed at the urging of lawmakers’ Greek-American and Armenian-American constituents, unfairly and hypocritically targets Turkey, a proudly secular country, for condemnation while turning a blind eye to far more egregious instances of religious discrimination in other countries.
“No mention is made of the significant steps Turkey has taken in the last decade to restore Christian and Jewish heritage sites, while at the same time, Athens, Greece remains the only European capital without a mosque. Nor is mention made of the fact that there is only one functioning mosque in Armenia, where there used to be hundreds. Facts are important to any debate, and there is no factual support for this amendment.
“This amendment, like the so-called ‘Armenian genocide’ resolution, seeks to force Congress to legislate based on historical disputes and biases, while ignoring both current realities and the impact that such irresponsible legislating will have on the United States’ invaluable relationship with its NATO ally Turkey.
“We call on Congress to oppose the further advancement of this inaccurate and misguided resolution, and to instead provide support and encouragement to Turkey, Greece, Armenia and other countries with religious issues as they seek to resolve disputes and promote tolerance.”
For more information on this issue, please read the TCA fact sheet.