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Order of St. Andrew condemns fraudulent, dangerous articles targeting His All-Holiness

The Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate today condemned recent attempts to threaten the well being of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarchate Bartholomew through the posting of fraudulent articles online under the name of Ambassador Arthur Hughes. Ambassador Hughes had nothing to do with their content and has been working with the Archons to remove such posts and inform others that they are not his work.

In mid-august, Oriental Review Magazine published online an article titled "Does Turkey Need Patriarch Bartholomew?" supposedly written by Ambassador Hughes. The article described His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as having close ties to Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish religious leader (who lives in the US), who Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has accused of being the leader of the recent failed military coup in Turkey. Following the protest of Ambassador Hughes, the article was taken down.

On August 17 Euractiv.com published a second spurious article wrongly attributed to Ambassador Hughes, making similar accusations, titled "Will Ankara Take Aim at Patriarch Bartholomew?"

National Commander Limberakis strongly condemned such efforts on behalf of the Order. "Not only are these articles fraudulent, they are dangerous attempts to disparage His All-Holiness. We call on all media outlets to more responsibly confirm the source of articles submitted with regard to His All-Holiness."

Below is the message from Ambassador Arthur H. Hughes:

On August 16, 2016, an organization known as Oriental Review, www.orientalreview.org, placed on its website an article concerning the Patriarch of Constantinople and attributed it to me. I can state categorically that I did not write this article, contribute it to Oriental Review, nor do I have any knowledge of the statements alleged in the article. Mr. Andrey Fomin, Founding Editor of Oriental Review, has acknowledged by email that they did not verify whether I in fact had sent the article, expressed regret and removed it from their website. Despite my repeated requests to Mr. Fomin, Oriental Review has not posted a statement indicating that the article in question and my alleged authorship were indeed a fabrication.

Arthur H. Hughes
United States Ambassador (Retired)