WASHINGTON — Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), sent a letter to United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, regarding assertions recently made by Ambassador Francis Ricciardone, President Barack Obama’s recess appointment to serve as US ambassador to Turkey.
In an official written statement addressing an inquiry from New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez regarding the present operational status of “the more than 2,000 Christian churches functioning prior to 1915 on the territory of present-day Turkey,” Ricciardone had asserted: “Most of the Christian churches functioning prior to 1915 are still operating as churches. Some churches of significance operate as museums. The remaining have fallen into disrepair or were converted to mosques for lack of use.”
The full text of Barsamian’s letter to Clinton, in response to that assertion, appears below:
Dear Madame Secretary:
My kind greetings and blessings you, as you continue your service to our nation.
As Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, I write regarding the statements made by Ambassador Francis Ricciardone, President Obama’s appointment as US ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, during his confirmation hearing.