FEZANA recently wrote to the Turkish Ambassadors in Washington D.C., Ottawa and the Permanent Mission to the U.N. in New York; to express concern at the recent anti-Zoroastrian rhetoric emanating from the Turkish leadership. Below is a copy of the letter sent to the above mentioned officials.
Monday July 11, 2016
The Honorable Serdar Kılıç
Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the United States
Embassy of Turkey To the United States
2525 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
Respected Ambassador Kılıç
At the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America, the umbrella organization of Zoroastrian communities across the United States and Canada, we are deeply dismayed by the recent anti-Zoroastrian rhetoric emanating from Turkey. It is especially hurtful to hear some of it coming directly from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Zoroastrians worldwide are minuscule in number, and citizens of many lands. Everywhere they reside they are known and admired for living in harmony with members of other faiths — Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and others — and for contributing greatly to the well-being of society regardless of religious affiliation. And throughout the centuries, Zoroastrians have displayed exemplary loyalty to and affection for the lands of their birth even as they have held fast to their ancient faith. Always, they have been guided by the core tenets of their religion — Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.
So it is disconcerting to hear invective being hurled at them in Turkey, where most likely just a handful of Zoroastrians reside. Such rhetoric, sowing suspicion of a minority community, typically ends up giving license for discrimination, or worse. It also has the potential to defame Zoroastrians far beyond Turkey’s borders, in regions not familiar with this peaceable community.
Turkey is a great nation. What is said and done there is heard and seen all over the world. We appeal to the Turkish authorities to cease this baseless targeting of Zoroastrians.
Homi D. Gandhi
The above letter was also sent to
The Honorable Selcuk Unal
Ambassador of Turkey to Canada
197 Wurtemburg Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8L9
The Honorable Yaşar Halit Çevik
Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the United Nations
Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations
885 Second Avenue, 45th Floor
New York, NY 10017