Every Christian Orthodox must have the right to vist the holy Christian places of Worship” stated the Greek Origin Russian MP (Doumas) Ivan Savvidis, Coordinator of SAE Region, former USSR Countries in a meeting he had with the Vice President of the Assembly of the Council of Europe and Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Migration, Mr. Mr Mevlüt ÇAVUŞOĞLU.
During the meeting which was held in a friendly atmosphere on the 25th of November in Moscow, the issue on the rights of Tourists who wish to visit Turkey in order to pray.
Mr ÇAVUŞOĞLU, spoke of changes in both extrernal and internal politics which are being followed by the Turkish state, with regards to the Christian population of the Country as well as the tourists who visit Turkey.
Solid proof of the situation was the question that was posed to Mr Savvides by Mr ÇAVUŞOĞLU on the incident of the 15th of August 2009 in Trapezous whereby during a pilgrimage at the Orthodox Monastery of Panagia of Soumela and the fact that Russian Orthodox pilgrims were not allowed due to their clothing.
Mr. ÇAVUŞOĞLU stressed, among others, on the fact that this incident was a one-off incident and not an expression of the general policy of the Turkish State and that in the following year, pilgrimages will be held without interference from the State.
“The name of the person who will allow Christian Orthodox Pilgrims to visit the Holy Places of worship will be written in gold in Turkish history and in the Modern History of the Orthodox Church”, stated Mr. Savvides and handed in an analytical document concerning the issue to Mr. ÇAVUŞOĞLU.
During their meeting, the speakers made reference to other matters, such as the issue of religious matters and the issue of the School of Theology in Halki.