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Hurriyet Daily News: U.S. Congress calls on Turkey to return “stolen Armenian churches”

The powerful Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives is planning to hold a vote Wednesday on an amendment calling for Turkey to “return stolen Armenian and other Christian churches to their rightful owners,” reports the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s English-language newspaper — which is celebrating its 50th year of publication. According to the newspaper:

The committee will meet for a markup session to discuss and vote on the State Department’s “Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2012;” the “return of churches” measure will likely be offered as an amendment to that authorization bill, the Armenian National Committee of America, or ANCA, said in a statement.

ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian urged all U.S. citizens of Armenian origin to “call your U.S. representative by July 20 and urge him/her to support this powerful religious freedom measure.”

“The Turkish Embassy is working overtime to kill this resolution and erase forever even the memory of Armenians and other Christians in our ancient homelands,” Hamparian said.

The Turkish Embassy in Washington rejected the charges in a recent statement, saying, “The resolution is deeply regrettable because it unfairly distorts the facts on the ground while flatly overlooking Turkey’s efforts to promote religious freedom and tolerance.”

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