Responding to the violent demonstration that occurred on Sunday, September 5, 2004 in front of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, offered the following statement:
�We are greatly saddened by the news of the recent provocative actions against our Ecumenical Patriarchate by some extreme nationalistic and political groups. These extreme elements are hostile towards our Ecumenical Patriarchate and, at the same time, are opposed to the process of accession of their own country, Turkey, to the European Union. Fortunately, these elements are truly a fringe group and do not represent the Turkish people.
Together, with all the civilized world, we unequivocally condemn the type of violence displayed last Sunday and denounce every similar kind of violence.
We also proclaim our steadfast, boundless and diverse support towards our Ecumenical Patriarchate which is not only the beacon of Orthodoxy around the world but also an institution of peace and reconciliation for all nations.�