AHI puts Blinken on notice about Turkey’s planned conversion of historic Orthodox church

American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis penned a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday concerning Turkey's renewed intentions to convert the historic Chora Church in Istanbul into a mosque later this month, according to press reports.

Larigakis urged Secretary Blinken to hold Turkey accountable for its poor track record on religious freedom and human rights.

"The US government should not engage in an appeasement of Turkey," Larigakis wrote. 

Citing international agreements and US laws, including the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA), Larigakis emphasized that Turkey must adhere to and enforce guarantees of religious freedom and minority rights as outlined in the Treaty of Lausanne and the UN Charter.

The Chora Church has functioned as a UNESCO-designated museum open to all faiths for around eighty...

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