Current Actions

  • Ask House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce to issue a statement in support of Hagia Sophia
    Hagia Sophia is a museum and World Heritage Site open to all and appreciated for its stunning architecture and history, including its history as a Byzantine era basilica. However, there is a growing movement in Turkey to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque. On Wednesday night a Koran reading and Muslim prayers were held in Hagia Sophia and attended by Turkish government officials, while Turkey's state television channel broadcast the religious service on national television.
    The Greek Foreign Ministry condemned the holding of Muslim prayers at Hagia Sophia:
    Hagia Sophia is a UNESCO world heritage site. The attempt to convert it into a mosque – through reading of the Koran, holding of prayers, and a number of other actions – is an affront to the international community, which needs to be duly mobilized and to react...
    We call on Turkey to conduct itself as a modern and democratic country, to protect the ecumenical nature of Hagia Sophia, and to respect the age-old tradition of this global monument. 
    Sign this petition asking House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce to issue a statement against the creeping conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The more attention we bring to this "creeping conversion" of Hagia Sophia, the more likely it will be that we will succeed in protecting and preserving this historic site. 

  • Tell UNESCO to protect Hagia Sophia

    Hagia Sophia is a museum and World Heritage Site open to all and appreciated for its stunning architecture and history, including its history as a Byzantine era basilica. However, there is a growing movement in Turkey to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque. On Wednesday night a Koran reading and Muslim prayers were held in Hagia Sophia and attended by Turkish government officials, while Turkey's state television channel broadcast the religious service on national television.

    The Greek Foreign Ministry condemned the holding of Muslim prayers at Hagia Sophia:

    Hagia Sophia is a UNESCO world heritage site. The attempt to convert it into a mosque – through reading of the Koran, holding of prayers, and a number of other actions – is an affront to the international community, which needs to be duly mobilized and to react...

    We call on Turkey to conduct itself as a modern and democratic country, to protect the ecumenical nature of Hagia Sophia, and to respect the age-old tradition of this global monument. 

    Send a letter to UNESCO demanding that it issue a statement in support of Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The more attention we bring to this "creeping conversion" of Hagia Sophia, the more likely it will be that we will succeed in protecting and preserving this historic site. 

  • Don't let Turkey bully Cyprus!

    Tell your representative to join Congressman Deutch and Congressman Bilirakis in urging Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to protect Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from Turkish aggression:

    "Turkey, which stands to benefit greatly from energy exploration, repeatedly violates Greece’s air and sea territory and has issued numerous threats against the continued exploration in and exploitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus’s EEZ is safeguarded under international law and has been consistently supported by the United States government."

    Energy cooperation has the potential to bring stability and prosperity to the Eastern Mediterranean. In order to achieve these goals, however, the State Department must reaffirm Cyprus' sovereignty and forcefully condemn Turkey's agressive and destabilizing actions. 

    Please send a letter to your Representative asking them to co-sign this important letter. 

  • Stop the sale of arms to Turkish security guards

    The day before Erdogan’s armed guards violently attacked peaceful protesters on the streets of Washington, DC, the State Department notified Congress of its intention to license the sale of $1.2 million worth of semiautomatic handguns to the Turkish security force.

    Senior leadership in both the Senate and the House have expressed deep concern about the sale. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce urged the State Department to reject the sale and reiterated the committee’s concern, stating:

    “Many committee members remain deeply concerned about this incident, as evidenced by our passage last week of House Resolution 354, which notes the unprofessional and brutal conduct of the Turkish security forces… all defense transfers to any Turkish agencies involved in the May 16 incident should be suspended pending a satisfactory resolution of this matter.”

    Sign our petition to Secretary Tillerson demanding that the State Department block the sale of semiautomatic handguns to the Turkish security guards who brutally attacked Americans on May 16. 

  • Ask your Representative to co-sponsor this important genocide bill

    House Resolution 220 is a bill pending in Congress which would recognize the genocide of Armenians, Greeks, and others at the hands of the Ottoman Empire:

    That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States, in seeking to prevent war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide against Christians, Yezidis, Muslims, Kurds, and other vulnerable religious and ethnic groups in the Middle East, should draw upon relevant lessons of the United States Government, civil society, and humanitarian response to the Armenian Genocide, Seyfo, and the broader genocidal campaign by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Greeks, Pontians and other Christians upon their biblical era homelands.

    Similar bills have been introduced for decades, but the Turkish lobby is powerful. That's why we need your help. 

    Please send a letter to your Representative asking them to co-sponsor this important bill. 

  • Tell the President of European Parliament to speak out on FYROM

    A tape has surfaced this month of the new European Parliament President Antonio Tajani referring to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as 'Macedonia':

    During a visit to Skopje in February 2016, Tajani, then a Commissioner, said, “Macedonia is a beautiful country. Everyone in Italy knows Macedonia. Why? Because Alexander the Great and Philip of Macedon are very popular ancestors of yours.”

    The video has understandably caused an uproar among historians and Greeks and the controversy became so intense that Tajani was forced to correct the record on his Twitter account:

    “I know my history very well. Alexander the Great was Greek and his ideas contributed to the birth of Europe,” he tweeted.

    Please sign our petition that we will deliver to President Tajani thanking him for correcting his mistake and urging him to speak out about the dangers of FYROM's misappropriation of Hellenic culture and its threats to Greece's territory. 

  • Tell the State Department: Call it an "invasion"!

    International law and foreign policy experts have consistently pointed to Turkey’s illegal invasion and continued occupation of Cyprus as the primary analogy for Russia’s actions in Ukraine. As Russia expert David Klion noted in The New Republic, Cyprus offers “the best historical analogy for Crimea,” pointing out that “[t]here are a lot of similarities between what Turkey did and what Russia is trying to do [in Ukraine]….we’ve seen it before in Cyprus.” 

    Similarly, Alexcia Chambers, writing in the Diplomatic Courier,  explained that “this invasion was just a case of history repeating itself. A nearly identical scenario took place in Cyprus 40 years ago, and that event—like the division of Ukraine—has yet to find a resolution.”  In Law, Territory and Conflict Resolution, international law professors Matteo Nicolini, Francesco Palermo and Enrico Milano state plainly that when it comes to Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea, “the closest analogy is northern Cyprus.”

    Yet the State Department refuses to call Turkey's 1974 actions an "invasion" and refuses to recognize the continuing "occupation" of Cyprus. 

    Please sign our petition to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking that he and the State Department as a whole use the appropriate terms in referencing Turkey's invasion and occupation of Cyprus. 

  • Letter to Congress on Immigration Order

    On Friday, Greece marked the Commemoration Day of the Greek Jewish Martyrs and Heroes of the Holocaust. We must never forget the horrors and atrocities suffered by the Jewish people during the Holocaust, and we must also remember the examples of heroes from that time. Heroes like Archbishop Damaskinos of Greece, Bishop Chrysostomos and Mayor Loukas Carrer of Zakynthos – brave Hellenes that stood up to protect those who had been targeted solely because of their religion.

    It is with these heroes in mind that we rise to object to President Trump's executive order restricting immigration, an order issued on the very day that Greece commemorated these heroes. 
    Greek Americans have for thousands of years valued philoxenia – or the love of strangers. As immigrants to this great country, Greek Americans have benefited from the philoxenia that has also been a core American value. Abandoning this philoxenia at a challenging time betrays both American values and American interests. America has always been able to secure the homeland and remain a welcoming land. It can continue this tradition.

    As Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and a proud Greek-American, said:

    I am deeply disturbed by the general tone and thrust of the executive orders that, at least on initial read, seem to ban significant classes of people because of their religion, or prioritize one religion over another. I do not agree with decisions that simply close off any migration here from a particular nation, no matter the situation or background of the individual applying for a visa or refugee status...I cannot support a policy that simply relieves us of our obligations under international law to respect the right of refugees to apply for asylum arbitrarily… 

    With the examples of Archbishop Damaskinos, Bishop Chrysostomos and Mayor Carrer in mind, we ask you to stand on the right side of history and uphold the value of philoxenia.

    Please send a letter to Congress asking your Representative and Senators to legislatively address the flawed executive order. 

  • Add your name: Turkey claims it "gave" Greece its islands

    First, Turkey's president last week lamented the fact that Turkey "gave away" Greek islands to Greece. Now, Ankara’s mayor Melih Gökçek says Turkey "gave" Greece its islands...These islands have been Hellenic for thousands of years and will always be Greek. Add your name to The Hellenic American Leadership Council's statement.

    To learn more about Turkey's aggression in the Aegean, see this piece by HALC Senior Fellow Nikolas Katsimpras and HALC's memo on the issue

  • Bring the Olympics Back Home to Greece

    The first modern Olympics were held in Athens in 1896. Since then, Greece has called for the Olympics to be permanently brought back home to Greece. 

    Commentators have also repeatedly called for making Greece the permanent home of the summer Olympics, citing the corruption in the host city bidding process and the cost to cities to host the Olympics. Read what they're saying here.

    As Paul Glastris wrote in The Washington Monthly this summer, "The problem is that hosting the Olympic games in a different city every year is unnecessary and, as a matter of basic management, moronic. For one thing, it’s incredibly expensive. [...] Shifting the games every four years is also a colossal waste of human capital..."

    There are many options that have been proposed, from having Greece be one of a set of permanent homes for the Olympics to having the Olympics in Greece with a different city taking on hosting responsibilities each time. Whatever the idea may be, it's clear that the current bidding and hosting process is broken, and that bringing the Olympics back home to Greece can and should be part of the solution. 

    Please sign our letter to the International Olympic Committee calling on it to explore bringing the Olympics back home to Greece. 

  • Tell NBC: Get the facts right on FYROM and Greek history!

    It was the mistake heard around the world -- 26.5 million viewers tuned into the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio only to see the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia called "Macedonia" by an NBC anchor, who then proceeded to erroneously claim that Philip II and Alexander the Great weren't Greek. 

    Words matter and facts matter. That's why need your help to set the record straight. 

    As you know, for decades officials and groups in Skopje have embarked on a campaign to co-opt Hellenic culture, whether it's renaming their airport "Alexander the Great Airport" or erecting statues of Alexander the Great and Philip II all over Skopje. We need to fight back, and that begins with setting the record straight. 

    Please take two minutes right now and sign on to our letter to NBC officials, anchors and others demanding an on-air correction:

    Please take two minutes right now and sign on to our letter to NBC officials, Matt Lauer and others demanding an on-air correction.

  • Tell the Cyprus negotiators: Not one more Turkish troop in Cyprus

    Since Turkey illegally invaded Cyprus in 1974, some 43,000 Turkish troops occupy the island. Now, with a solution to end the occupation and reunify Cyprus on the horizon, the issue of security and guarantees is on the table. Help us demand a just solution, one that recognizes that the continued presence of foreign troops on Cypriot soil is provocative and inconsistent with a free and unified Cyprus. 

    We will deliver your letter directly to the negotiatiors in the Cyprus peace process, including President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot community leader Mustafa Akinci and UN Special Envoy Espen Barth Eide. 

  • American citizens still missing in Cyprus: Write to Congress now!

    Nearly 2,000 people went missing in Cyprus during the inter-communal fighting of 1963 to 1964 and Turkish invasion of 1974 (502 Turkish Cypriots and 1,493 Greek Cypriots).1 To this day, most remain missing. 

    In 1994, Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law Public Law 103-372, a bill directing the President to investigate the whereabouts of 5 missing Americans in Cyprus, report to their families and to the Congress the findings of the investigation, and return to the families the remains of the missing who are no longer alive.  Twenty one years after the passage of the Act, the remains of only one of the five missing Americans have been found and returned.

    Help us keep up the pressure and renew the efforts to find those missing in Cyprus. Their families deserve this closure. It's 41 years overdue. 

    Here are the names of the four Americans who are still missing:

    Kyriacos Leondiou

    Chris Livertos

    Socrates Kapsouris

    Kyriacos Sophocleous 

    Sign our letter to members of Congress asking them to press Turkey and the negotiators to focus on the issue of the missing in Cyprus.

  • Hagia Sophia Call for hearing action

    Hagia Sophia is a museum and a World Heritage Site open to all and appreciated for its stunning architecture and its history, including its history as a Byzantine era basilica. However, there is a growing movement in Turkey to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Not only are certain politicians trying to pass a bill to convert Hagia Sophia, but this year, daily prayers were read during Ramadan. 

    Ask the Chairs of the International Religious Freedom Caucus and the Congressional Hellenic Israel Alliance to hold a hearing on Hagia Sophia...the more attention we bring to this "creeping conversion" of Hagia Sophia, the more likely it will be that we will succeed in protecting and preserving this historic site. 

    Source:

    1. Learn more and read the articles: Stand up for Hagia Sophia.

  • Four Americans Are Still Missing Since The Turkish Invasion of Cyprus: Help bring their families closure

    Nearly 2,000 people went missing in Cyprus during the inter-communal fighting of 1963 to 1964 and Turkish invasion of 1974 (502 Turkish Cypriots and 1,493 Greek Cypriots).1 To this day, most remain missing. 

    In 1994, Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law Public Law 103-372, a bill directing the President to investigate the whereabouts of 5 missing Americans in Cyprus, report to their families and to the Congress the findings of the investigation, and return to the families the remains of the missing who are no longer alive.  Twenty one years after the passage of the Act, the remains of only one of the five missing Americans have been found and returned.

    Help us keep up the pressure and renew the efforts to find those missing in Cyprus. Their families deserve this closure. It's 41 years overdue. 

    Here are the names of the four Americans who are still missing:

    Kyriacos Leondiou

    Chris Livertos

    Socrates Kapsouris

    Kyriacos Sophocleous 

    Sign our letter to members of Congress asking them to press Turkey and the negotiators to focus on the issue of the missing in Cyprus. 

  • Ask the International Religious Freedom Caucus to issue a statement in support of Hagia Sophia

    Daily reading of the Quran at Hagia Sophia? That's what Turkey is proposing:

    On Monday, the Foreign Ministry in Athens condemned the decision by Turkish authorities to allow a daily reading from the Quran to be broadcast from Hagia Sophia during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, describing it as “verging on bigotry” and “not compatible with modern, democratic and secular societies.”

    “Muslim rituals in a monument of world cultural heritage are incomprehensible and reveal a lack of respect for and connection with reality,” the statement said.

    This is on top of the report last year that a commission in Turkish parliament is considering an application by citizens to turn the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque, the bill that has been introduced in parliament to restore Hagia Sophia to a "symbol of the Conquest of Istabul" and in November, and Turkey's deputy prime minister promising that the building would be "smiling" again as a mosque soon.

    This is unacceptable. 

    Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica which served as the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. When the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, it was converted into a mosque but was eventually opened as a museum on February 1, 1935. We have already delivered over 25,000 signatures to UNESCO against the proposed status change. Sign this petition asking the International Religious Freedom Caucus in Congress to issue a statement against the creeping conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. 

    Source:
    1. Learn more and read the articles: Stand up for Hagia Sophia.
  • Tell USCIRF to issue a statement in support of Hagia Sophia

    Daily reading of the Quran at Hagia Sophia? That's what Turkey is proposing:

    On Monday, the Foreign Ministry in Athens condemned the decision by Turkish authorities to allow a daily reading from the Quran to be broadcast from Hagia Sophia during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, describing it as “verging on bigotry” and “not compatible with modern, democratic and secular societies.”

    “Muslim rituals in a monument of world cultural heritage are incomprehensible and reveal a lack of respect for and connection with reality,” the statement said.

    This is on top of the report last year that a commission in Turkish parliament is considering an application by citizens to turn the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque, the bill that has been introduced in parliament to restore Hagia Sophia to a "symbol of the Conquest of Istabul" and in November, and Turkey's deputy prime minister promising that the building would be "smiling" again as a mosque soon.

    This is unacceptable. 

    Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica which served as the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. When the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, it was converted into a mosque but was eventually opened as a museum on February 1, 1935. We have already delivered over 25,000 signatures to UNESCO against the proposed status change. Send a letter to the United States Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF) asking that they issue a statement against the creeping conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. 

    Source:
    1. Learn more and read the articles: Stand up for Hagia Sophia.

  • Thank Congress for Standing up for Cyprus


    Big news: Thanks to support from HALC supporters like you, members of Congress sent letters to Vice-President Biden urging the administration to stand up to Turkey and urge it to end the occupation of Cyprus. You can read the letters here, here and
    here

    It may seem like just a letter to some, but these letters are huge. The letters send a strong message to Turkey that the United States is firmly on the side of ending the occupation of Cyprus. You can bet that the Turkish lobby will be fighting even harder in Washington because of these letters, which is why it's so important that we contact those who have stood up for Cyprus to thank them for their continued support. 

    Let’s take this opportunity to thank our lawmakers for their support, and remind them how important it is to keep pushing for a Cyprus free of Turkish troops. 

  • Keep up the pressure on Turkey to reopen Halki Seminary

    Turkish President Erdogan is set to visit Washington, D.C. next week and will meet with Vice-President Biden. On March 25, 2012, Erdogan met with President Obama and told him that he planned on reopening the long-shuttered Halki Theological Seminary in Turkey. 

    Four years later, Halki Seminar remains closed by the Turkish government. 

    Sign this petition asking the administration to raise the issue of Halki Seminary with Erdogan. We'll deliver your signatures to the White House before the Erdogan meeting. 

  • Menendez-Kirk Letter on Cyprus

    A sustainable reunification of Cyprus is of vital importance to the United States. Senators Bob Menendez and Mark Kirk have drafted a letter to Vice-President Joseph Biden explaining the importance of Cyprus and the need for a just and comprehensive solution to end the Turkish occupation and ensure the long-term security and peace of the country. Please use our sample letter to ask your Senators to the Menendez-Kirk letter on Cyprus.

  • Don't Kick Greece Out Of The Schengen Area

    At a time when the people of Greece are being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in addressing Europe's refugee and migrant crisis, some in Europe are calling on Greece to be kicked out of the Schengen Area (Europe's free travel zone), a move that would impose border patrols and passport requirements at Greece's borders. 

    Such a move would be unjust and wrong. Greece is doing all it can with its resources to deal with the influx of refugees and migrants; as the door to Europe, last year, over 800,000 refugees and migrants entered Europe through Greece, out of nearly 1 million total who entered Europe in 2015. 

    At a time when Europe should be doing everything to help Greece, some European leaders are seeking to punish in Greece instead. Sign this petition saying NO to kicking Greece out of the Schengen Area and calling on Europe to increase its technical and monetary assistance to Greece as it continues to deal with an unprecedented humanitarian and migration crisis.

    We will deliver the petition to David O'Sullivan, European Union Ambassador to the United States of America, and Klaas Van der Tempel, Consul General of the Netherlands in Chicago and EU Local Chair.

  • Reopen Halki Seminary: Write to Congress now!

    In 1971, the Turkish government closed Halki Seminary, the sole seminary for the Ecumenical Patriarchate. What does this mean for Greek Orthodox Christians around the world? The closure of Halki prevents the Ecumenical Patriarchate from training its next generation of leaders and infringes upon the religious freedom of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians. 

    In January 2016, Congressman John Sarbanes, and the co-chairs of the Hellenic Caucus, International Religious Freedom Caucus and Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission sent a letter to President Obama urging him and the administration to press Turkish authorities to finally reopen Halki. (Read their letter)

    Please, write to your Representatives asking them to join their colleagues in the Hellenic Caucus, the Human Rights Caucus and the International Religious Freedom Caucus by issuing a statement demanding the reopening of Halki Seminary.

  • Petition to declare ISIS' massacres of religious minorities a Genocide

    Christians in Iraq and Syria are being raped, tortured or killed on a daily basis by the terrorist group ISIS as it attempts to establish a purely Islamic caliphate in the region. It's reported that the Obama administration is set to declare that the mass murder of some non-Christian minorities in the region constitute a genocide, but that it is reluctant to issue the same determination that the murder of Christians. 

    Please, sign on to our letter to President Obama asking that his administration acknowledge the reality of a Christian genocide in the Middle East. 

    The petition will be delivered to David N. Saperstein, the US' Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom on International Religious Freedom Day (January 16th).

  • Tell Turkey: Stop invading Greek airspace

    After Turkey shot down a Russian jet in November 2015, many commentators pointed out Turkey's hypocritical position on respecting airspace; after all, Turkish airspace incursions over Greece are a frequent event. In fact, according to the latest data of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, since 2011, more than 7000 aircrafts have been increasingly violating Greek sovereignty in the Aegean. Specifically: 3545 Infringements of Air Traffic Regulations, 6421 Violations of National Air Space and 64 Overflights of National Territory. As HALC's Senior Fellow Nikos Katsimpras has explained, "these numbers include 878 armed formations, which brings the significance of threat to a whole another level."

    Join us in calling on Turkey to stop its hypocrisy and to stop its incursions into Greece's airspace. Sign our letter asking Secretary of State John Kerry to demand that Turkey end its provocative acts. 

  • Ask Congress to help Greece handle the migration crisis

    Reports that one of the terrorists that attacked Paris used a fake Syrian passport to register as a refugee in Greece underscores the need to aid Greece as it deals with an unprecedented migration crisis:

    Greek authorities on islands such as Leros, Lesbos and Chios have confronted thousands of arrivals every day in recent months as refugees and other migrants make the short sea crossing from Turkey in inflatable boats. Short of staff and equipment, Greek police carry out only a simple procedure that involves taking people’s data and fingerprints, and sometimes asking them a few questions, before giving them permission to travel onward, deeper into Europe.

    Upon his arrival in Leros, the Paris assailant was checked against police databases under his Syrian identity, Greek officials say. Nothing was found. Police on Leros didn’t spot that the passport was fake. A black market in Syrian passports has sprung up in Turkey as migrants try to gain the easiest possible entry into Europe, which has treated Syrian war refugees as more deserving of shelter in European Union countries than many other nationalities.

    Greece’s border security apparatus has nearly reached a breaking point. This clearly has both security and humanitarian implications.

    The Hellenic Caucus has sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security calling for U.S. technical guidance and assistance to Greek immigration authorities.

    Already, 32 member of Congress have signed on, but we need to have more support. Please send a letter to your representative today.

    Click here to read the DHS letter.

  • #StandWithGreece Summit

     

    Help us organize a landmark summit to support Greece in Washington, D.C.

    Too often, our leaders in Washington, D.C., both Republican and Democrat alike, are misinformed about the situation in Greece. The #StandWithGreece Summit will be the largest gathering of elected officials in support of Greece in Washington, D.C. 

    The #StandWithGreece Summit will take place on September 30-October 2, 2015 on Capitol Hill. 

    • Our goal is to obtain a commitment from each of the 534 members of Congress that they or their top staffers will attend the #StandwithGreece Summit in September. 
    • At the Summit, we will press for all members of Congress tosupport bipartisan bills that are currently being drafted to provide technical assistance to Greece as it makes its recovery and to provide additional military aid to Greece as it has had to cut its defense spending due to the crisis. 
    • At the Summit, we will also unveil other comprehensive aspects of the #HelpGreeceNow campaign that we will encourage members of Congress to support, including medical assistance programs, business development programs and more.
  • Tell Secretary of State Kerry: Help find the missing in Cyprus

    Nearly 2,000 people went missing in Cyprus during the inter-communal fighting of 1963 to 1964 and Turkish invasion of 1974 (502 Turkish Cypriots and 1,493 Greek Cypriots).1 To this day, most remain missing. 

    In 1994, Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law Public Law 103-372, a bill directing the President to investigate the whereabouts of 5 missing Americans in Cyprus, report to their families and to the Congress the findings of the investigation, and return to the families the remains of the missing who are no longer alive.  Twenty one years after the passage of the Act, the remains of only one of the five missing Americans have been found and returned.

    Help us keep up the pressure and renew the efforts to find those missing in Cyprus. Their families deserve this closure. It's 41 years overdue. 

    1. The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP)

  • Tell Rep. Clawson: You Can't Erase the Greek and Armenian Genocides!

    According to the Armenian National Committee of America: "Congressman Curt Clawson (R-FL), in a highly offensive political move aimed at derailing the Armenian Genocide Truth + Justice Resolution (H.Res.154), is planning to introduce a fake version of this human rights legislation, stripped of any mention of the Armenian Genocide."

    H.Res. 154 notes that "Whereas the Republic of Turkey, rather than acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past, has escalated its international campaign of Armenian Genocide denial, maintained its blockade of Armenia, and increased its pressure on the small but growing Turkish civil society movement acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and seeking justice for this systematic campaign of destruction of millions of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Pontians, Syriacs, and other Christians upon their biblical-era homelands"

    Instead of supporting that resolution, Rep. Clawson has introduced his own resolution calling for "reconciliation" on Turkish-Armenian relations:

    The bill, which is being pushed by a new advocacy group called the Turkish Institute for Progress, aims to be a counterweight and a potential alternative to another controversial piece of legislation that would call the 1915 killings a genocide. The proposal has existed in some form for years.

    The Turkish-American coalition has retained the lobbying firm Levick Strategic Communications to push the reconciliation proposal as a possible alternative to the genocide bill.

    Contact Rep. Clawson NOW and sign on to our letter to his office and help us fight the Turkish lobby's attempt to ignore the historic genocide of Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian communities. 

  • Co-sign our letter to Secretary Kerry on Greece & Cyprus

    Co-sign our letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to publicly call out Turkey for invading Cyprus's exclusive economic zone and its provocations against Greece in the Aegean sea. 

    LEARN MORE:

    HALC's Issue Brief: Turkey's provocative actions in Cyprus's exclusive economic zone (PDF)

    HALC's Issue Brief: Turkish aggression along the Arc of Thorns

  • Ask the U.S. government to continue to stand with Greece as it seeks renegotiation of its debt deal

    As Greece's new government seeks to renegotiate the terms of its debt deal with European leaders, it becomes more important than ever for leaders around the world to stand with Greece as it seeks out a fairer deal. 

    The United States has already expressed its preference for a new growth strategy for Greece. Sign on to our letter asking that President Barack Obama continue to express solidarity with Greece and with Greeks who have suffered too much as a result of an unreasonably austerity-heavy European policy toward Greece.

    We will personally deliver your signatures to the White House and to administration officials.  

  • Tell Britain: Respond to Greece's UNESCO Mediation request

    It's been nearly two months since Greece submitted a formal request for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to mediate the reunification of the pillaged Parthenon Marbles.1 The government of Britain has not responded to UNESCO's correspondence regarding Greece's mediation request. 

    Instead, the British Museum, in an unprecedented move, has now loaned a sculpture from the Parthenon Marbles to Russia. 

    Sign this petition to the British government and the British Museum demanding that they respond to UNESCO's correspondence on the issue of the Parthenon Marbles. 







    1. Greece Seeks Unesco’s Aid to Regain Elgin Marbles From U.K.

  • Tell Majority Whip McCarthy to bring H.R. 4347 to a vote

     H.R. 4347 is a bipartisan bill that seeks to hold Turkey accountable for its confiscation and destruction of Christian sites in Turkey and in occupied Cyprus, as well as for its treatement of religious minorities. Read the bill here and learn more about the bill here

    Over the next few days, members of the House will be asking Republican Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to schedule H.R. 4347 for a vote. Join them in asking that this important bill be brought to the floor for consideration. Co-sign their letter, and HALC will personally deliver your signatures to Rep. McCarthy's office. 

  • Co-Sign our letter to Secretary of State John Kerry on Turkey

    On October 20th, Turkey sent a Turkish vessel into the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus. This provocative act, as Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides has said, "is a clear violation of Cypriot sovereign rights."

    Please sign and share our letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry calling on the State Department to take a clear and strong stance against Turkey's belligerence in the region. 

    Relevant articles:

  • Demand more of Turkey

    I am writing to ask you to submit written requests for clarifications regarding the Obama Administration's policy toward Turkey prior to the upcoming confirmation hearing on Tuesday July 15th for the President's nominee to serve as our next U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, John Bass.
     
    As you know, this confirmation process provides meaningful opportunity for substantive Congressional oversight of a U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship that has sharply deteriorated over the past several years, as Ankara has adopted increasingly hostile policies toward our nation's interests and allies.  At a time of instability in the Eastern Mediterranean, the next ambassador serving in Ankara must communicate American expectations of behavior from our allies.  With this in mind, we respectfully ask you to ask direct questions regarding:
     
    1)  U.S. efforts, if any, to end Turkey's 40 year occupation of the northern part of Cyprus.
     
    2)  U.S. efforts, if any, to secure a favorable response from Turkey on the Confidence Building Measures centered on Famagusta put forth by the Republic of Cyprus.
     
    3)  U.S. efforts, if any, to hold Turkey to its promises to reopen the Halki Theological Seminary in Istanbul and thus ensure the survival of the Ecumenical Patriarchate -- the head of the worldwide Orthodox Christian Church.
     
    4)  U.S. efforts, if any, to press Turkey to return thousands of stolen Christian church properties on the territory of Turkey and the portion of Cyprus occupied by the Turkish military.
     
    My family and friends look forward to watching the live webcast of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and to watching you raise these concerns during the confirmation hearing for Ambassador-designate Bass.
     
    Thank you, as always, for your continued leadership on human rights, conflict-resolution, and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.

  • Reunite the Parthenon

    Over 200 years ago, the Ottomans granted British ambassador Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, a controversial permit to pillage the Parthenon. By the time the Earl of Elgin was done, half of the Parthenon's sculptures and other pieces of Greece's cultural history were shipped off to Britain.

    The time has for remedying this injustice and returning the Parthenon Marbles to Greece is now.

    The state-of-the-art Acropolis museum is ready to house this critical part of Greece's cultural history. 

    Lend your voice to celebrities around the world who have adopted the cause of repatriation:


    Greece made us. We owe them. They are ready for its return and have never needed such morale boosting achievement more. And it would be so graceful, so apt, so right. [...]  An act of friendship, atonement and an expression of faith in the future of the cradle of democracy would be so, well just so damned classy. [...] It would be a dignified, but a thrilling celebration. No need for head-hanging apology or anything silly, just a recognition that the time is now right.   -- British Actor Stephen Fry

    Even in England, the polling is in favor of returning the marbles [...] There are certain pieces you look at and think, "That would be perhaps the right thing to do."                                                                -- George Clooney, star of The Monuments Men

    They've (the Parthenon Marbles) had a very nice stay here, certainly. London's gotten crowded. There's plenty of room back there in Greece.  -- Bill Murray, co-star of The Monuments Men

    Sign the petition to the British Museum to Reunite the Parthenon.

  • Send a thank you to Greece's Ethniki Omada!

    Sign this postcard to Greece's National Team (Ethniki Omada) thanking the team for an amazing run at the World Cup. We'll deliver your comments directly to the team!

    Dear Ethniki Omada - You kept us on the edge of our seats, you made Hellenes around the world cheer, and you made us proud. Thank you for the great memories and let's win the 2016 Euro Cup! 

  • #SpeakUpForCyprus: Ask your Senator and Representative to go on the record for peace in Cyprus

    This July will mark 40 years since Turkey illegally invaded the Republic of Cyprus. Help us draw attention to the continued occupation of Cyprus and rally support for the Cyprus peace process by asking your Senator and Representative to speak up for Cyprus. We've created a sample letter for you to send to Congress asking them to support the Cyprus peace process on the record in Congress. 

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    Help pass H.R. 4347, the Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act

    H.R. 4347 is a bipartisan bill that seeks to hold Turkey accountable for its confiscation and destruction of Christian sites in Turkey and in occupied Cyprus, as well as for its treatement of religious minorities. Read the bill here and learn more about the bill here

    Use our easy-to-use tool and sample letter to write to your Representative today asking that they sign on to this important measure. The more co-sponsors we can get, the greater the likelihood H.R. 4347 will make it to the floor for a vote. 

  • Tell UNESCO to issue a statement in support of Hagia Sophia

    There's a real movement in Turkey to convert the historic Hagia Sophia into a mosque. A commission in Turkish parliament is considering an application by citizens to turn the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque, a bill has been introduced in parliament to restore Hagia Sophia to a "symbol of the Conquest of Istabul" and in November, Turkey's deputy prime minister promised that the building would be "smiling" again as a mosque soon.

    Recently, the Turkish government has revealed plans to build a madrassa right next to Hagia Sophia:

    The Turkish government plans to reconstruct a demolished madrasa(religious school) next to Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1985. But the local branch of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos) strongly protests these plans, calling the proposed construction a “new fake historic monument” that would undermine the area’s significance.

    Hagia Sophia was built as an Orthodox church during the sixth century and converted into a mosque in the 15th century; shortly afterwards, the first madrasa was constructed to its north. Over the years, the school was repaired and maintained, until it was entirely demolished and rebuilt in the late 19th century as a two-storey structure on Hagia Sophia’s western side. It was again torn down in the 1940s after it fell into disuse. In a statement, Icomos Turkey says, “replicas of buildings, reconstructed with no good reason, and the superficiality of which even the layman can detect, should have no place within a World Heritage Site.”

    The proposal to revive the religious school comes at a time when Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Bülent Arınç, has expressed his hope that Hagia Sophia will soon again be a working mosque; however, this could threaten the site’s World Heritage status, since it would be a change of use. In recent years, museums in Iznik and Trabzon, both originally churches also called Hagia Sophia, have already been reopened as mosques. 

    This is unacceptable. 

    Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica which served as the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. When the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, it was converted into a mosque but was eventually opened as a museum on February 1, 1935. We have already delivered over 25,000 signatures to UNESCO against the proposed status change. Send a letter to UNESCO demand that it issue a statement against proposed changes to the Hagia Sophia, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Source:
    1. Learn more and read the articles: Stand up for Hagia Sophia.

  • Ask your Representative to attend an upcoming CHIA event

    The Congressional Hellenic Israel Alliance was formed last year with the purpose of focusing attention on issues of regional stability and development in Eastern Mediterranean. On February 27th, The Hellenic American Leadership Council and The American Jewish Committee will celebrate the one-year anniversary of this  important caucus. Write to your Representative now and ask them to attend this important event and to show their support for CHIA's mission. 

  • Write to Congress

    Tell Congress your thoughts on the recent peace process in Cyprus. Start out by using our sample letter. 

  • Respond to The New York Times editorial on Turkey

    On January 28, 2014, The New York Times published an editorial on "Turkey's Wrong Turn." (Read it here). The editorial called out the Turkish government for its anti-democratic behavior, but it left out some important elements, including the continued illegal occupation of Cyprus and the unjust treatment of minorities in Turkey. 

    Help us respond to this editorial by writing a letter to the editor using our template. Please add your own thoughts to the letter. The more unique the letter, the greater the likelihood it will be published. 

  • Respond to The New York Times article on St. Nicholas

     On October 30, The New York Times publishsed an article by David W. Dunlap about the rebuilding of the Greek Orthodox St. Nicholas Church, which was destroyed during the September 11th attacks. Unfortunately, the article had several problems and we need your help to respond. Here are some exceprts:

    • "Eight images published recently on the website of the architect Santiago Calatrava, who is designing St. Nicholas, showed a building that would draw inspiration from the great churches of the East: Hagia Sophia and the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora. Both are in Istanbul. The shallow dome of the new St. Nicholas Church will have 40 ribs, as does the dome of Hagia Sophia. Alternating bands of stone on the corners will echo the walls of the Chora church. Though both date to the early centuries of Christianity, they both were later used as mosques before becoming museums."
    • "While that ecumenical provenance may accurately reflect the stated desire of the Greek Orthodox Church to create a space in which all visitors will feel welcome, it will almost certainly ignite a new round of debate over the role of religion at or around the World Trade Center. In 2010, national attention focused on a bitter fight over an Islamic community center and mosque that was proposed nearby."
    • "That a Spanish architect should design a modern Byzantine church in Lower Manhattan for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, based on buildings in Turkey that were used for Islamic worship, goes to the heart of the message the archdiocese says it hopes to send with the $20 million project. The new St. Nicholas is to open by early 2016."
    • "Comments on the website of the TriBeCa Citizen, which published the renderings, show that some viewers already say St. Nicholas resembles a mosque. The presence of the drawings on Mr. Calatrava’s website was noted on Tuesday by The New York Post."

    Help us respond to this article by writing a letter to the editor using our template. 

  • Give Famagusta back!

    The Republic of Cyprus has presented a new proposal to return the "ghost town" of Famagusta to its rightful inhabitants. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides has said that the return of Famagusta can be a "gamechanger" for resolving the Cyprus problem. 

    Voice your support for returning Famagusta to its rightful inhabitants by signing our petition. We will deliver this petition the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to demonstrate why the UN should embrace the proposal and will also present a copy of your signatures to the White House. 

  • Give Famagusta back!

    The Republic of Cyprus has presented a new proposal to return the "ghost town" of Famagusta to its rightful inhabitants. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides has said that the return of Famagusta can be a "gamechanger" for resolving the Cyprus problem. 

    Most of Famagusta (the Varosha district especially) is completely abandoned since Turkey illegally invaded Cyprus in 1974. In 1984, the United Nations passed Resolution 550 declaring that "any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants [is] inadmissible." Since Turkey hasn't been able to settle Varosha, the entire area remains frozen in time.

    The Anastasiades government has advanced several confidence-building measures, which include the return of Famagusta. The government's proposal entails offering to lift the Cypriot veto on certain subjects of Turkey's EU accession chapters and permitting trade through the Port of Famagusta under supervision of the EU if Famagusta is returned. This is a viable proposal that can restore trust and reinvigorate the Cyprus peace process. 

    Voice your support for returning Famagusta to its rightful inhabitants by signing our petition. We will deliver this petition the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to demonstrate why the UN should embrace the proposal and will also present a copy of your signatures to the White House. 

  • Save ERT Public Broadcasting in Greece

    This week, the Greek government abruptly shut down its public broadcasting operation, removing a critical voice from the media dialogue. Analysts are calling the move a "cultural calamity"1:

    The ERT online operation is a lifeline for the Greek diaspora. ERT World might not have had the prestige of the BBC's World Service but it was the main link to the homeland for Greeks in Melbourne, London and Chicago. Greeks everywhere have been outraged and demonstrations have been organised in many European cities. The archbishop of Athens and major Greek diaspora organisations have joined the chorus of condemnation.The attack on the public broadcaster is part of the wider conflict between private media moguls and the fast shrinking public media. 

    ERT's needed reforms could have been accomplished without shutting down a worldwide operation that has provided news and educational programming to Greeks and those of Greek descent around the world.  Public broadcasters are a key part of any thriving democracy, and the closure of ERT is a step in the wrong direction for Greece. 

    1. The loss of ERT, the 'Greek BBC', is a cultural calamity, The Guardian, June 12, 2013

    We'll send this petition both to ERT and the Greek government. 

    Save ERT!

  • Write a letter to The New York Times editor

     On April 2nd, Michael Moller, former United Nations special representative for Cyprus, wrote an op-ed for The New York Times arguing that the economic crisis in Cyprus has provided a prime opportunity to reinvorgate talks to unify the island. Mr. Moller's piece failed to mention several key facts regarding Turkey's illegal occupation. Help us set the record straight by sending a letter to the editor right now. 

  • Say NO to converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque

    There's a real movement in Turkey to convert the historic Hagia Sophia into a mosque. A commission in Turkish parliament is considering an application by citizens to turn the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque, a bill has been introduced in parliament to restore Hagia Sophia to a "symbol of the Conquest of Istanbul" and last November, Turkey's deputy prime minister promised that the building would be "smiling" again as a mosque soon.

    This is unacceptable. 

    Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica which served as the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. When the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, it was converted into a mosque but was eventually opened as a museum on February 1, 1935.
    Please sign this petition to send a message to UNESCO, which has declared Hagia Sophia part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that Hagia Sophia should remain open and accessible to all. 

    Source:

  • Sign the petition to commute the sentence of whistleblower John Kiriakou

    John Kiriakou is a highly decorated, 14-year CIA counterterrorism veteran who blew the whistle on the use of torture in interrogations conducted by the U.S. government. Even though he never engaged in torture, he is the only individual to be prosecuted in relation to the torture program of the last decade.  

    You can learn more about his story here.

    Kiriakou has pled guilty to disclosing the name of a former colleague to an ABC News reporter who was investigating America's torture program. Kiriakou’s disclosure never was made publicly available. Indeed, it assisted in bringing the torture debate to the forefront. As journalist Dan Froomkin has emphasized, "he was the first person within the CIA to confirm that the 'enhanced interrogation' was being managed, action by action, from Washington, through constant cable traffic," and in a national interview, Mr. Kiriakou notably called waterboarding "torture."  Unless the President acts, Kiriakou will go to jail for 30 months.

    A commutation of John Kiriakou's sentence would acknowledge his guilty plea while recognizing the role he played in changing America's debate on torture.

    Please, sign this petition asking President Obama to commute the sentence of whistleblower John Kiriakou. HALC will hand deliver the petition to the White House.

  • ACTION ALERT: Stop the tranfer of Navy vessels to Turkey!

    The H.R. 6649: Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2012 was introduced last week, and we need your help to stop it.

    The act has been put on the House calendar and may be voted on as soon as tomorrow. H.R. 6649 transfers U.S. naval vessels to Turkey. This bill is another example of the U.S. giving preferential treatment to Turkey on the issue of defense deals, despite Turkey's increased belligerence towards Cyprus and Israel and its continued territorial disputes with Greece.

    If this bill passes, Turkey will add two U.S.-made guided missile frigates to its arsenal: the USS HALYBURTON (FFG–40) and the USS THACH (FFG–43). Until Turkey commits to a policy of peace in the region and ceases its provocative behavior which is leading to instability in the Eastern Mediterranean, the U.S. should stop giving preferential treatment to Turkey. H.R. 6649 should not pass. Write to your representative the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and demand that they vote against this ill-advised bill.

  • SAVE CYPRUS. Tell Congress: Pass these resolutions now!

    Two important resolutions have been introduced in the United States Congress concerning Cyprus and Turkey, and we need your help right now to get Senators and Representatives on board.

    House Resolution 676 and Senate Resolution 47 both seek to pressure Turkey into finally giving Cyprus the freedom it deserves. The goal of each resolution is:

    If you agree with that goal, please take one minute right now to contact your Represetantives and Senators. Tell them to cosponsor these two bills.

    We've made the procees quick and easy. Just let us know your address and we'll provide you with a simple form, sample letter and contact method. All it takes is one click.

    You can see what impact Turkey's occupation has had on Cyprus in photos here.

  • Tell Turkey: End the Occupation of Cyprus Now

    Nearly 38 years ago, Turkey illegally invaded the island of Cyprus, seizing 38% of its land and forcing hundreds of thousands of Cypriots from their homes. To this day, there are some 40,000 Turkish troops occupying the northern part of Cyprus.  That's more troops than the U.S. has in Iraq and almost half of the troops the U.S. has in Afghanistan. With tens of thousands of armed troops in an area about the size of Rhode Island, occupied Cyprus is one of the most highly militarized areas in the entire world. 

    Foreign troops on Cyprus are a continued crime against the Cypriot people, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike. Turkish occupation troops have desecrated and destroyed religious relics and property in northern Cyrpus, including destroying over 500 Greek Orthodox churches.  Turkey's continued occupation of Cyprus is an affront to international law, human rights and religious freedom and forments instability in this key region.

    The people of Cyprus deserve better.  The people of Cyprus deserve an end to a foreign occupation of their land. 

    Sign the petition to demand that Turkey remove all of its occupying forces from Cyprus.

    We'll deliver your petition directly to members of Congress and the President so they can also demand that Turkey finally comply with international law. 

  • Return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece

    Over 200 years ago, the Ottomans granted British ambassador Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, a controversial permit to pillage the Parthenon. By the time the Earl of Elgin was done, half of the Parthenon's sculptures and other pieces of Greece's cultural history were shipped off to Britain.

    The time has come for this injustice to be remedied and for the Parthenon Marbles to be sent home to Greece.

    A new state-of-the-art museum is open at the foot of the Acropolis and is ready to house this critical part of Greece's cultural history. 

    As British actor and repatriation activist Stephen Fry has noted, there is no better way for London to show solidarity with Greece during Greece's time of crisis than to return the artifacts back to the Greek people:

    The occasion — the largest regular gathering human beings on the face of the planet — offers [the opportunity] to redress a great wrong and to express our solidarity with, affection for and belief in Greece and the ideals it gave us.

    The Hellenic Republic today is in heart-rending turmoil, a humiliating sovereign debt crisis has brought Greece to the brink of absolute ruin. This proud, beautiful nation for which Byron laid down his life is in a condition much like the one for which he mourned when they were under the Ottoman yoke in the early nineteenth century [...]

    Greece made us. We owe them. They are ready for its return and have never needed such morale boosting achievement more. And it would be so graceful, so apt, so right. [...]  What greater gesture could be made to Greece in its appalling finance distress? An act of friendship, atonement and an expression of faith in the future of the cradle of democracy would be so, well just so damned classy. [...]

    It would be a dignified, but a thrilling celebration. No need for head-hanging apology or anything silly, just a recognition that the time is now right.

  • Help fight S. 2177 - A key bill for the Macedonian name issue

    We need your help to make sure the NATO Enhancement Act of 2012 doesn't get to the floor for a vote. S. 2177, The NATO Enhancement Act of 2012, promotes "Macedonia's" membership to NATO. The bill calls on the president to offer "Macedonia" a "roadmap to NATO membership" at the NATO summit next month.

    If adopted, the bill will mark the first time the Senate has ever adopted legislation referring to that country as "Macedonia."

    As you may know, some 2.5 million Greeks live in the Greek region of Macedonia. Under an interim accord, the two states agreed to the use of the reference "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM) until the naming dispute is resolved. FYROM’s long-standing demand to lay claim to the Macedonian name threatens not only to Greece’s cultural history but its territorial limits as well. Moreover, there exists a movement within FYROM to pursue a "United Macedonia" that would envelope northern Greece and areas in Bulgaria, Albania and Serbia. It is against this backdrop that Greece has requested that FYROM use a compound name with a geographic qualifier for general use on the international stage, with some type of qualifier in its name — "New", "Upper" or "Northern" — so as to ensure that no future claim against Greece’s territory is made.

    Please send a letter to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who is the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee and ask him to withhold consideration of S. 2177 as written.

  • Tell the President No More Empty Promises On Halki

    The Halki School of Theology in Turkey is a critically important seminary for Greek Orthodox Christians around the world; the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church is selected from its alumni. Yet for over 40 years, Halki has been unable to operate because the government of Turkey has refused to recognize the religious rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In March, President Barack Obama met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The President noted that he was "pleased to hear of his decision to reopen the Halki seminary." However, after that meeting, Turkish officials made clear that the government of Turkey has no plans to reopen the school. According to a statement made by Turkey's EU Minister Egemen Bagis on March 26, "negotiations are stuck."  

    Send a letter to the President and ask that he trust but verify when it comes to Turkey's lip service about religious freedom.

  • Write to Congress

    Tell Congress your thoughts on the crisis in Syria. Start out by using our sample letter. 

  • Tell Turkey: End the Occupation of Cyprus Now

    Nearly 42 years ago, Turkey illegally invaded the island of Cyprus, seizing 38% of its land and forcing hundreds of thousands of Cypriots from their homes. To this day, there are some 40,000 Turkish troops occupying the northern part of Cyprus.  That's more troops than the U.S. has in Iraq and almost half of the troops the U.S. has in Afghanistan. With tens of thousands of armed troops in an area about the size of Rhode Island, occupied Cyprus is one of the most highly militarized areas in the entire world. 

    Foreign troops on Cyprus are a continued crime against the Cypriot people, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike. Turkish occupation troops have desecrated and destroyed religious relics and property in northern Cyrpus, including destroying over 500 Greek Orthodox churches.  Turkey's continued occupation of Cyprus is an affront to international law, human rights and religious freedom and forments instability in this key region.

    The people of Cyprus deserve better.  The people of Cyprus deserve an end to a foreign occupation of their land. 

    Sign the petition to demand that Turkey remove all of its occupying forces from Cyprus.

    We'll deliver your petition directly to members of Congress and the President so they can also demand that Turkey finally comply with international law. 

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