Istanbul and Ankara Syriac Orthodox Community Spiritual Leader and Patriarch Deputy MorFelixinos Yusuf Cetin and BeyoğluSyriac Mother Mary Church Foundation President SaitSusin welcomed Turkey’s Former Minister of European Union and State Egemen Bağış and his wife Beyhan Bağış with the leaders of the Syriac community in their Beyoğlu center in Istanbul.
Patriarch Deputy Yusuf Çetin stated thatthey were grateful to Egemen Bağış for being the first minister in the historyof the Republic of Turkey who visited their centers in Beyoğlu during his postand that he was the first minister who had inclination to tackle problems ofthe Syrian society's problems and who initiated a dialogue with the SyriacCommunity on behalf of the government during the EU ministry. It was alsoemphasized by the Metropolitan that their doors have always remained open andthat the Syriac community was one of the oldest nations of this land, howeverthe most important features were their loyalty to the state and that theyalways worked in harmony with the state.
In his speech EgemenBağış said: "Ithink that the Syriac communities throughout the world are always supportive ofTurkey in international disputes and that they are always loyally in a closeworking environment with Turkey, especially with the leadership vision ofMetropolitan Mr. Yusuf Çetin, who as a responsible citizen of Turkey alwayssensitively tends all the problems in the country”. Mr. Bağış underlined thatthe Metropolitan Mr. Çetin has always given positive answer and support to thecalls of the Turkish President, Prime minister and his Government and followedthem with great gratitude and that he is also grateful for the support heshowed to them during the EU Ministry period especially for his and the SyriacFoundation in Turkey’s special effort to get the strong Assyrian lobby inSweden to lobby for Turkey.
Bağış, who has been following the motive ofthe Assyrian Society to attain a church in Yeşilköy for many years, said: “Thefact that it will take place within such a short period of time will indeed bea reflection of our commitment to our freedom of faith” and he quoted theTurkish President: "One who has no doubt in their own faith, would not beagainst the freedom of faith”.