Author Topic: Christian Woman’s Faith Attacked in Istanbul Airport  (Read 2491 times)

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Offline helena

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Christian Woman’s Faith Attacked in Istanbul Airport
« on: May 18, 2010, 08:01:45 AM »
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 17, 2010


Christian Woman’s Faith Attacked in Istanbul Airport

May 12, 2010 ~ Returning from a recent trip to Lebanon, Helen Talia, traveling with her friend Laurice Somo, both from Chicago, approached the security gates at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport, carrying a host of religious (Christian) gifts ~ crosses, rosaries in her carry-on handbag.

“No sooner did I approach the first security attendant, says Talia, my bag was turned upside down and ridded of all the religious gifts I had brought back from places of worship I had traveled thousands of miles in pilgrimage to Lebanon ~ Mar Charbel and Haresa.  Needless to say, the manner in which the procedure was carried out was very vicious and without any regard to the value that another human places on his or her spiritual practices.

I gestured to the young woman handling the items to use caution, but instead, and rather in a sarcastic tone, she stared me in the eyes and said in the English language, ‘do you have a problem?’ then proceeded to dump everything in a big garbage dumpster next to her, without offering me an explanation, then quickly moved me to the next security station.

In the meantime, the otherwise forbidden [liquid] items, the water, which I was carrying in my bag, remained untouched and made it through security.  I began to speculate the obvious that the intrusion was not part of security, but rather a deliberate attack on my faith and a form of intimidation.

When asked to place a complaint at the second security station, a female supervisor, proceeded to contact two airport police, both male, one of whom grabbed me by the left arm while snatching my U.S. Passport and flight boarding pass out of my right hand.  ‘Now, do you want to place a complaint?’ asked the security supervisor angrily.

This all happened in what seemed to be in the blink of an eye . . . I noticed the one officer who grabbed my passport quickly made a photocopy of it, claiming it was necessary in order to document the complaint, while pretentiously placing a call to a superior who would handle the claim, one who never made it to the scene. 

With only twenty minutes left for my flight to take off to Chicago, still no visible sign of anyone who was coming to address the issue, I began to realize that I was being given the run-around.  At this juncture, I concluded my flight, but vowed to follow-up with a story and a letter to the Turkish Embassy upon returning to the United States,” concludes Talia.

This story is dedicated to the memory of the unborn Assyrian, Armenian and Pontian and Anatolian Greek children, whose lives were stolen before birth, and whose mothers were raped while carrying the seed of life in their holy wombs during the Ottoman Empire, the Young Turks era and the formation of the Republic of Turkey.

This article calls to the Republic of Turkey to recognize the Genocide and criminal activities committed against the Assyrians, Armenians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks c. 1870-1930, and to establish grounds for restitution. 

Helen Talia was born in Baghdad and raised in Chicago, where she currently resides.  She is a Certified Public Accountant, a writer and an activist.

~ Helen Talia, Chicago
www.helentalia.com

###


Assyria ~ I will become the voice of your people, the wind underneath your struggles, and the road to your freedom. . .

Offline ASHOOR

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Re: Christian Woman’s Faith Attacked in Istanbul Airport
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 11:27:40 AM »
Helen, sorry to hear this has happened to you, and thanks for sharing it with us. I didn't even realize this story was your story, until I read further into the story.

This is absolutely outrageous, how they treat an international visitor, simply passing through their airport. I don't think they would even be this cruel in an Islamabad or Kabul airport. This is Istanbul we are talking about, a city that wants to join the European Union and host the Olympics. Well I am afraid they won't be able to, given this attitude and disregard for travellers' feelings and belongings.

And the funny thing is, not just one of these people was rude and violating your faith, but almost all the other officials. Not one of them was considerate.

I do hope you take your case to the Turkish officials in the US, because God knows, you are not the only one who gets this treatment.

I have been through Istanbul airport twice too by the way, and let us just say, it wasn't the best experience.

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Offline AssyrianDrummer

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Re: Christian Woman’s Faith Attacked in Istanbul Airport
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 01:26:04 PM »
The turkish are very ignorant towards others and i am sorry that it has happened to you.

They go nuts when you mention anything questioning about Ataturk or relations with Greece... i know that personally. . .

i hope they get whats coming to them
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Re: Christian Woman’s Faith Attacked in Istanbul Airport
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 01:26:04 PM »

Offline assyria12

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Re: Christian Woman’s Faith Attacked in Istanbul Airport
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 02:30:33 PM »
Danm turks.. whats sad is that I know many assyrians that are willing to allie with turks v kurds...

Offline helena

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Re: Christian Woman’s Faith Attacked in Istanbul Airport
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2010, 12:52:17 AM »
Thank you everyone for your support.  Believe it or not, once I went past security, I considered this experience to be a blessing in disguise, and the very first decision was to take action, be vocal and proactive. 

Almost immediately following my trip, I was invited to a Greek Genocide lecture, and it was there that this story gained momentum and a huge support from the Armenian and the Greek communities, not for me personally, but for my kind, my people, my faith and the human rights of my nation.  In the scope of the bigger issues, e.g. what our nation is facing today in Iraq, thousands of stories, petitions marches and demonstrations have to be written and carried-out before any of us can begin to "relax."

Yes, I have taken further action.  I've contacted the Turkish Embassy in the United States, as well as the U.S. Department of State.  I'll be waiting a few weeks before following-up.

Regards,
~ Helen Talia       
Assyria ~ I will become the voice of your people, the wind underneath your struggles, and the road to your freedom. . .

Offline khayaatour

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Re: Christian Woman’s Faith Attacked in Istanbul Airport
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2010, 07:54:47 AM »
Turkey= what do we execpt from them?

 

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