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International Archon Religious Freedom Conference

The two-day meeting, entitled, “Religious Freedom: Turkey’s Bridge to the European Union,” was held at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, November 16-17, 2010. The symposium brought together over thirty renowned scholars, religious freedom and human rights advocates, journalists, diplomats, parliamentarians, religious leaders, representatives of the Government of Turkey, lawyers and members of minority communities. They presented complex, diverse and contrasting viewpoints and perspectives on the status of religious freedom in Turkey to nearly two-hundred participants from across the United States, Turkey and Europe.

The conference was sponsored by the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America and the Pammakaristos Brotherhood of Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Europe, in cooperation with the Patriarchal Liaison Office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union.

To learn more about this conference, visit archons.org/conference

(Videos prepared by Greek Orthodox Telecommunications, Inc.)

Welcoming Dinner Reception 38:58

Remarks delivered by George C. Rockas, Odysseus F. Sassayiannis, Christopher Stratakis, and Archbishop Demetrios of America.

Anthony J. Limberakis, MD 8:17

[Read the bio] Welcoming remarks delivered by Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America.

Rodi Kratsa Tsagaropoulou 6:19

[Read the bio] Welcoming remarks by Rodi Kratsa Tsagaropoulou, Vice President of the European Parliament, delivered by Archon John Halecky, Jr., National Secretary of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America.

Metropolitan Emmanuel 5:51

[Read the bio] The Patriarchal Exhortation delivered by His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Director of the Liaison Office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union.

Archbishop Demetrios 16:24

[Read the bio] Opening remarks delivered by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Rabbi Arthur Schneier 18:26

[Read the bio] "Religious Freedom: The Fundamental Human Right" delivered by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

An Overview of the Issues and Concerns of Religious Minorities in Turkey 36:34

A panel discussion with Otmar Oehring, PhD, Director of the Human Rights Office, Pontifical Mission Society, Germany; Pieter Omtzigt, PhD, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe, Enschede, Netherlands; and Gregor Puppinck, PhD, Director of the European Centre of Law and Justice, Strasbourg, France.

Egemen Bağiş 36:33

[Read the bio] A special presentation made to His Excellency Egemen Bağiş by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. His Excellency addresses the International Archon Religious Freedom Conference.

Mark Vanderrick 18:26

Remarks from the Belgian Minister, delivered from Mark Vanderrick.

Specific Religious Freedom Issues and Concerns of Minorities 1:02:24

A panel discussion moderated by Dr. Emre Oktem with panelists Dogan Bermek, Metin Tarhan, His Eminence Archbishop Aram Ateshian, Father Claudio Monge, Laki Vingas, Mine Yildirim and Johny Messo.

Orhan Kemal Cengiz 32:26

[Read the bio] Presented by Orhan Kemal Cengiz, Lawyer and Human Rights Defender and Newspaper Columnist.

James J. Silk 27:30

[Read the bio] Presented by James J. Silk, Clinical Professor of Law, Allard K. Lowenstein International, Human Rights Clinic and Executive Director, Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights, Yale Law School.

Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou 15:44

[Read the bio] Presented by Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou, Vice Chair, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Legal and Humanitarian Perspectives 39:49

A panel discussion moderated by Angela Wu Howard with panelists Cole Durham, Dilek Kurban and Muna B. Ndulo.

Mustafa Akyol 37:37

[Read the bio] "The View from the Turkish Side of the Bridge: Obstacles and Prospects" delivered by Mustafa, Akyol, Journalist and Political Commentator in Istanbul, Turkey.

Dr. Emre Oktem 17:06

[Read the bio] "Interfaith Understanding and Dialogue--A Way to Cross the Bridge" delivered by Dr. Emre Oktem, assistant professor of Galatasaray University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Dr. Bican Sahin 28:04

[Read the bio] "Are Religious Minorities compatible with a secular Turkish State?" delivered by Dr. Bican Sahin, assistant professor of Hacettepe University and vice president of the Association of Liberal Thinking, Ankara, Turkey.

The View from the European Parliamentarians' side of the Bridge 41:33

Presented by Dr. Renate Sommer of Germany, and Konrad Szymanski of Poland.

Riza Turmen 39:32

[Read the bio] "Case Law from the European Court of Human Rights dealing with Religious Freedom Issues" delivered by Riza Turmen, former judge of the European Court of Human Rights, Turkey.

Andrew Ekonomou 46:24

[Read the bio] "Finding Answers in International Forums, including the European Court of Human Rights" delivered by Andrew Ekonomou, PhD, Senior Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, Washington D.C., and the European Centre for Law and Justice, Strasbourg, France.

Prof. Dr. Huseyin Hatemi 24:29

[Read the bio] "The Framework for Productive Dialogue Going Forward" delivered by Professor Dr. Huseyin Hatemi, professor at Istanbul University School of Law and Maltepe University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Anthony J. Limberakis, MD 15:32

[Read the bio] Closing remarks delivered by Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America.

Symposium: Interactive dialogue regarding religious freedom in Turkey 1:43:17

An interactive exchange among panelists concerning various aspects of the issues faced by religious minorities in Turkey and proposed answers to those issues. The symposium was moderated by Dr. Steven Ealy, senior fellow of the Liberty Fund. Panelists included: Mustafa Akyol, Orhan Cengiz, Andrew Ekonomou, Dilek Kurban, Muna Ndulo, Otmar Oehring, Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, Bican Sahin, Kondrad Szymanski, and Angela Wu Howard.

Grand Banquet 1:03:38

A grand banquet concluded the conference. Speeches were delivered by National Commander Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon, and Archbishop Demetrios of America.