Statement By His Excellency Namik Tan, The Republic Of Turkey’s Ambassador To The United States In Response To Today’s Action In A U.s. House Of Representatives Committee On Foreign Affairs Mark-up, July 20, 2011 , 20.07.2011“Today, Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved amendments to a State Department Authorization bill that distorts Turkey’s record on religious freedom and preservation of religious sites. Turkey opposes the language in the measure because it presents a biased, one-sided perspective and wholly disregards the constructive steps Turkey has taken to safeguard and expand religious freedom and tolerance and to preserve places of worship belonging to Jews and Christians.
We are nevertheless encouraged that the final mark-up does not include a preamble, originally part of another legislation initiative by perennial critics of Turkey, that falsely accuses the Ottoman Empire of oppressing and intentionally destroying much of its ancient Christian populations.
Turkey continues to respect freedom of religion and freedom of worship.
We will continue to work with Members of Congress to ensure that Turkey’s multi-dimensional and decades-long alliance with the United States endures as a ‘model partnership’.”