2013 Berlin Schedule

Tearing Down Walls: Achieving Religious Equality in Turkey

International Archon Religious Freedom Conference
Berlin, Germany – Hotel Adlon, Kempinski
December 3, 4 and 5, 2013


December 3, 2013 – Day One

6:00 P.M.

7:00 P.M.

Opening Reception – Hotel Adlon

Willkommen Dinner – Hotel Adlon


December 4, 2013 – Day Two

Tearing Down the Walls

8:00 – 8:10 A.M.

Conference Introduction

George C. Rockas, Conference Planning Chairman

Hon. B. Theodore Bozonelis, Conference Planning Co–Chairman

John Zavitsanos, Conference Planning Co–Chairman

Christopher Stratakis, Esq., Legal Counselor, Order of St. Andrew

8:10 – 8:20 A.M.


Anthony J. Limberakis, M.D.
National Commander, Order of St. Andrew the Apostle
Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

8:20 – 8:30 A.M.

Greetings and Welcome

His Eminence Metropolitan Augoustinos of Germany

8:30 – 8:40 A.M.

Greetings and Welcome

Dr. H.C. Nikolaus Schneider
Chairman of the Council of Evangelical Church of Germany

8:40 – 8:50 A.M.

Patriarchal Exhortation

His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France
Director, The Liaison Office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union

8:50 – 9:05 A.M.

Opening Remarks

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America
Primate, Greek Orthodox Church in America
Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

9:05 – 9:15 A.M.

Tearing Down the Walls of Religious Intolerance

Introduction by Andrew E. Manatos
Washington Regional Commander, Order of St. Andrew
Coordinator of Washington Religious Freedom Initiatives

Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton
Former United States Secretary of State, United States Senator from New York and First Lady of the United States (Video Address)

9:15 – 9:30 A.M.

The View from the Presidency of Religious Affairs (“Diaynet”)
Mehmet Paçacı, Ph.D.

Director General of the International Affairs for the Presidency of Religious Affairs, Republic of Turkey

9:30 – 10:00 A.M.

Religious Tolerance and Pluralism – A Global Perspective

William Antholis, Managing Director,
Senior Fellow, Governance Studies,
Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.

10:00 – 10:30 A.M.

Religious Inequality in Turkey – An Overview

Prof. Ayhan Kaya
Director of the European Institute, Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey

10:30 – 10:45 A.M.

Morning Break

10:45 – 11:15 A.M.

State Neutrality and Pluralism – Important Components of Religious Freedom

Mine Yildirim
Humanitarian and Religious Freedom Advocate
Director, Freedom of Belief Initiative Project in Turkey, Norwegian Helsinki Commission, Doctoral Candidate, Aabo Akademi, Institute of Human Rights, Istanbul, Turkey

11:15 A.M. –

12:15 P.M.

Panel Discussion on the Status of Equality, Pluralism and State Neutrality in Turkey


Dr. Steven Ealy
Senior Fellow, Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, Indiana


Fatma Benli
Lawyer and Human Rights Activist,
Turkey’s Representative to the International Jurists Union

Doctor Aykan Erdemir
Member of the Turkish Parliament representing Bursa, Member of Turkey – EU – Joint Parliamentary Committee

Doctor Tugba Tanyeri – Erdemir
Deputy Director of the Center for Science and Society,
Member of American Research Institute, Ankara, Turkey

Doctor Murat Somer
Associate Professor of International Relations
Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey

12:15 – 2:30 P.M.

Lunch Break
Restaurant Kafer in the Bundestag

Presentation:  Legal and Political Obstacles to Achieving Equality, Neutrality and Pluralism

Orhan Kemal Cengiz, Lawyer, Human Rights Defender and Newspaper Columnist, İzmir, Turkey

2:30 – 3:45 P.M.

The State of Religious Equality – The View of Minority Communities


Emre Oktem, Associate Professor of International Law and Head of the International Law Department at the Faculty of Law, Galatasary University, Istanbul, Turkey


Paris Asanakis, Representative of Orthodox Community,
Lawyer, Athens, Greece

Dogan Bermek, Representative of Alevi Muslim Community, President, AVF Federation of Alevi Foundations,
Istanbul, Turkey

Rober Koptas, Representative of Armenian Community,
Editor-In-Chief of Agos, an Armenian newspaper, Istanbul, Turkey

Rinaldo Marmara, Representative of Catholic Community, Director, Caritas, Turkey

Johny Messo, Representative of Syriac Community, President of World Council of Arameans (Syriacs)

Pastor Ihsan Ozbek, Representative of Protestant Community,
Ankara Kurtulus Church and Association of Protestant Churches

Lakis Vingas, Representative of the Greek Orthodox Community Council Member, General Directorate of Foundations Representative of the Non Muslim Foundations

3:45 – 4:30 P.M.

Why Does Religious Freedom Matter – The Relationship Between That Freedom and Other Civil, Political and Economic Liberties


Dilek Kurban, MA, JD, Stiftung Mercator-IPC Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin, Germany and Former Director of the Democratization Program, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey


Willy Fautre, Chairman, Human Rights Without Frontiers International, Brussels, Belgium

Andrew Finkel
Writer and Broadcaster and Founding Member of P24 Association for Independent Journalism in Turkey

Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director, American Center of Law and Justice, Washington, D.C.

4:30 – 5:30 P.M.

Tearing Down Walls – Legal and Humanitarian Perspectives on Equality, State Neutrality and Pluralism


Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou, Harvard University, Center for European Studies, Former Vice Chair, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom


Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute, Washington, D.C.

Cole Durham, Susan Young Gates, Professor of Law, Director, International Center for Law and Religious Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah

Yannis Ktisakis, Assistant Professor of Human Rights Law, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey and Democritus University, Thrace, Greece and Legal Advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Muna B. Ndulo, Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, Director of Cornell’s Institute for African Development, Human Rights Advocate and Humanitarian
Ithaca, New York

7:00 – 8:30 P.M.

Reception – United States Embassy

December 5, 2013 – Day Three

The New Constitution

9:00 – 9:30 A.M.

Building a New Pluralism in Turkey Based on Lessons Learned From the Ottoman Empire

Professor İlber Ortaylı, Professor of History, Galatasarary University, Istanbul and Bilkent University, Ankara

9:30 – 10:00 A.M.

The Status of Religious Freedom Under The Current Constitution

Dr. Ergun Ozbudun
Professor of Constitutional Law, Bilkent University, Ankara
Turkey and Turkish Representative to the Venice Commission, Council of Europe

10:00 – 11:45 A.M.

Equality, Pluralism and State Neutrality Under The Current Constitution – Needed Areas of Change

– the judiciary
– education
– property rights
– places of worship
– legal personality
– religious training and
– funding


Sahin Alpay, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Bahcesehir University, Columnist Zaman and Today’s Zaman, Istanbul, Turkey


Dr. Osman Can, Constitutional Scholar and Reporting Judge at the Turkish Constitutional Court, Member of Central Committee of AK Party, Selected as Jurist of the Year 2010 in Turkey

Ozge Genc
Director, Democratization Program
Tesev, Istanbul, Turkey

Ozgur Sevigi Goral
Advisor of the Peace and Democracy Party for the Parliamentary Constitution Commission, Istanbul, Turkey

Riza Turmen
Former Judge, European Court of Human Rights, Member of Turkish Parliament and Member of the Constitution Committee, Izmir, Turkey

10:45 – 11:00 A.M.

Mid Morning Break

11:45 A.M. –
12:30 P.M.

The Status of the Proposed New Constitution

Dr. Levent Koker
Professor of Public Law
Atilim University Law School
Ankara, Turkey

12:30 – 2:00 P.M.


2:00 – 2:30 P.M.

Halki – The Berlin Wall of Religious Freedom

His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa
Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of the Holy Trinity on the Island of Halki and former Chief Secretary of Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

2:30 – 3:15 P.M.

Obstacles to Effecting Meaningful Change

Mustafa Akyol
Author, Journalist and Political Commentator, Istanbul, Turkey

3:15 – 3:30 P.M.


3:30 – 4:15 P.M.

Removing Obstacles Through the European Court of Human Rights and Other Institutions

Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, Washington, D.C. and to European Center for Law and Justice, Strasbourg, France

4:15 – 4:45 P.M.

What Achieving Equality, Neutrality and Pluralism Means for Turkey

Introduction by George C. Rockas, Esq., Conference Planning Chairman

4:45 – 5:00 P.M.

Living by Hope alone
Sustained by Hope
Empowered by Hope
Building Bridges From Walls Torn Down

Anthony J. Limberakis, M.D., National Commander, Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

7:00 – 7:30 P.M.

Farewell Reception

7:30 – 9:30 P.M.

Auf Wiedersehen Dinner