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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE/ECHR: Turkey Fails to show Content of Enquiry for MISSING Cypriots, doesN't Pay, Hides Proof

CoE/ECHR: Turkey Fails to show Content of Enquiry for MISSING Cypriots, doesN't Pay, Hides Proof

Pisac ACM
19. 09. 2017.
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/ [UPDATED]- Eve of a crucial CoE Ministers' meeting on ECHR case-Law Implementation (19-21/9/2017), Turkey Failed to show Any concrete Content of Investigation on Cyprus' "MISSING" People even After Decades, does Not Pay to the Victims' Family any due Just Satisfaction, and is also Accused now to Alterate material Evidence on what really happened to them and who is responsible, according to Recent UN Findings.


This was Revealed by Official Documents, just published by the CoE, concerning the execution of Both ECHR's landmark Judgments in the "Inter-State" Case of "Cyprus v. Turkey" (2001) and on a series of Individual Complaints by Victims' Families in the "Varnava" case (2010), but also on more recent occasions (f.ex. 2012, 2014, etc), according to Letters send by their Lawyers and Human Rights' NGOs, as well as by the Governments of Cyprus and Turkey on 2017.


ECHR has repeatedly Condemned Turkey, inter alia, mainly for Failing to Investigate the Fate of Greek Cypriot "Missing" persons, since the 1974 Military Invasion/Occupation of the Northern part of Cyprus by Ankara's Foreign Army, (which notoriously made also more than 190.000 real Refugees/Displaced People, forced to flee and still Hindered to Return, despite another set of Damning ECHR Condemnations of Ankara), according to Strasbourg's PanEuropean Court's Established Case-Law, which traditionally asks, from the respondent State, to make Efficient Investigations on what realy Happened to those gone "Missing", Find and Punish all those Responsible for her "Disappearance".


CoE's Highest Political body, that of its 47-Member Countries-strong Committee of Ministers, eeeeeis entrusted with the Duty to "Supervise the Execution" of ECHR's Judgements, and which can, theoretically, take a Variety of Decisions in case of Blatant DisRespect, going from concrete Demands, more or less strong Criticism or Denonciations, etc., up to Declaring that the Responsible State eventually Failed to abide by CoE Statute's Obligations for Respect of the Legally Binding character of ECHR's Judgements on Human Rights, eventually leading, in fine, at a Threat to Suspend or Exclude the recalcitrant State from Strasbourg's Pan-European Organisation, (as, f.ex., in the case of a Military Regime in Greece during the 1967-1974 Past, etc). In parallel, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, (which meets here soon, in October 2017), can, eventually, take several Other Sanctions also vis a vis the recalcitrant State's MEPs, (f.ex., Block their Voting Rights, etc).


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Ankara on Cyprus' "Missing" People :
 - Many pages with 0 Content of Investigations, (for Decades) !...

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 - "Truth Now" NGO, refers Nowadays (9/2017), in a Letter just received by the CoE in Strasbourg, to a Series of Individual Complaints which had been lodged to ECHR in the Past by Families of Dozens Greek-Cypriots "Missing" since 1974, but were, curiously, Dismissed, by a Chamber of the ECHR, on 2012 and 2013 as ... "Premature" (sic !).


 - Indeed, 7 out of the 47 ECHR's EuroJudges had found, then, that Turkey hadn't Started to make "Investigations" in those cases (of Persons "Missing" since 1974), but Only "since Late 2010"...


=> Therefore, a Chamber of ECHR had concluded, on 2012 and 2013, that it was, then, "Too Early" (sic !) "to impugne" Turkey's response as "InEffective", and/or "a mere Sham or that there is Bad Faith, wilful Footdragging and calculated Prevarication". Merely because this was "Not Yet" possible, at that Time.


>>> But, ECHR, had, nevertheless, Repeatedly Warned, on 2012 and 2013, that, even in similar Cases, "Prolonged Inactivity and Silence by the (Turkish) Authorities over a More Significant period of Time, Might eventually render Such a Conclusion Possible", i.e. result in New Condamnations of Ankara.


- Therefore, ECHR, "Concerned with complaints as to the response of the (Turkish) authorities Following the Discovery of the Remains" of "Missing" Greek Cypriots,  in Fact, did Not Exclude to, eventually, Find, Later-on, f.ex. a "Lack of Effectiveness or Expedition", an "Obstructiveness or Callous Indifference", But had Not Yet enough elements "at the Current Time", or "at This Stage", as it had said Back on 2012.


+ However, ...even 5 More Years Later, on 2017, the Turkish side reportedly send to the Lawyer of the Victims a Letter (only in Turkish Language !), which appears to Claim that "Alleged Investigations ... had reached No Result, and that the Case-Files would be Closed" for ever !


=> Thus, "Truth Now" NGO concludes  Today that "the Turkish Government has so far Failed to carry out an Investigation, let alone an Effective one", on what really Happened to all those "Missing" Persons, and "urgese" COE's Committee of Ministers to Remind Turkey "its Obligations under the judgments of the Court both in respect of Damages, as well as individual and general Measures".

+ That NGO also Informs the CoE that (partly Similar to an Old "Eurofora"'s  Suggestion, made in the Past to a former UNO's Envoy for Cyprus, during his Visit to EU Parliament in Strasbourg, as a way to also Facilitate a Peaceful ReUnification of the Island), and Afterwards endorsed also by Lawyer Achileas Demetriades, mutatis-mutandis), it Stands ready to "Support the Creation of a <<Truth Commission>> in Cyprus" for All "Missing persons", in general.


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 But, Astonishingly, the Only "Reply" given by the Turkish Government on those Cases of many Dozens more of "Missing" persons, just Received by the CoE in Strasbourg on 9/2017, is a Long Letter, with Many full Pages, Contesting all the above-mentioned Arguments of the "Truth Now" NGO, ...withOut, however, Mentioning ...Any Concrete Content at all, from Ankara's alleged "Investigations" on that matter !...


It's, indeed, Only a mere Mention of Strictly Procedural steps, curiously Empty of Any (even the Slightest) Mention of one or another Content of the "Investigations" that Turkey claims to have made : F.ex., No Lead, Nor Hypothesis, Not Any Finding, No Arguments, No mention of any Circumstances, Acts, Suspects, Witnesses' depositions, Searches, Objects and/or Locations Examined, Remains analysed, etc. I.e., absolutely Nothing on the Substance of all those Tragic Cases !


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>>> This seems, indeed, to be a Wider, almost General Problem with Turkey's attitude vis a vis "Missing" Persons in Cyprus, as a more Comprehensive, Critical set of Observations presented by the Cypriot Government to the CoE Denounces Now :


- "The actual and/or precise  Content of these Investigations has
consistently and purposely Not been Disclosed" by Turkey, even if  Ankara "seeks to create a (False) Impression ... of ... alleged .. Investigations and of an ...Output", fallaciously, the Cypriot Government criticizes mainly, in, its observations on the Implementation due to ECHR's landmark Judgement on the "Cyprus v. Turkey" InterState case.


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+ Secret "ReLocations" of Victims' Remains :

- Attempts to "Conceal Evidence of Crimes" ?

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- Moreover, Recent Findings by UNO's Committee on "Missing" Persons at the Island, have "determined that a Large Number of Missing Persons' Remains were ... Intentionally Removed" from their Initial Burial Place, and "Transferred to UnKnown Locations" by Turkey, Denounces Cyprus' Government now (9/2017) :

- Indeed, as "CMP has determined", this was done with "Considerable Effort", and "Heavy Machinery", in a way "Undoubtedly Deliberate, and Intended to Conceal Evidence of a Crime", Nicosia's Authorities point out.

 

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- In particular, "This is Evidenced by the Archeological Findings, and results of Fragmented and Disarticulated Remains that have arisen from a number of CMP’s Excavations". Also, "so far, it has been Established, that the Intentional ReLocation of Remains has occured in 4 Sites in the (Turkish) Occupied Areas of Cyprus", Nicosia denounces.

- And, "Despite repeated Pleas to Turkey, including through various Decisions (of the CoE) to Provide Information ... of the New Locations, at which the ReLocated Remains have been Deposited", nevertheless, "Turkey Continues to Deny ... any relevant Infirmation", Cyprus' Government reveals.

>>> But, meanwhile, "that ReLocation Leads to Distortion of Burial Sites, and the Loss of valuable Forensic Information (Evidence)", including even "to the Loss of the Remains themselves, ... partially or in whole", Cyprus Warned.


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Unfortunately, Turkey's own Latest 2017 published Report's observations on all these Cases and Critical Points, once again, does Not reveal Any Substantial Content of Investigations, Neither any concrete reply.

+ It Only reveals that Ankara still Persists, anew, to Refuse to even Pay Any Just Satisfaction Awarded by ECHR's Judgements to Victims of such Enforced "Disappearances", and/or of Massive Usurpations of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced Persons Family Homes and/or Private Properties,  in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, still illegaly Controlled by the Turkish Invasion/Occupation Army since 1974, despite several UN SC Resolutions asking for the Withdrawal of Foreign Troops.

=> That's why, Nowdays, also another Victim of the Latter, Professor Dr. Andreas Orphanides, from a Family of Greek-Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons, who is also a Lawyer, asked from the CoE to "Declare Explicitly that: "Turkey has Seriously Violated Article 3 of CoE's Statute", on the PanEuropean Organisation's Member States' Obligation to Comply with ECHR's Legally Binding Judgements on respect Human Rights, (Comp. Supra).

----------------------------------------------------

 

+ [UPDATE] In a Note, apparently Dated "19.9.2017", but seen by "Eurofora" Later, Turkey curiously Adds, at the Last Minute, a lot of never mentioned before Claims, in an obvious Attempt to avoid CoE's eventual Sanctions for Lack of Efficient Investigations on the cases of "Missing" People from Cyprus :


- But the alleged Facts convern Only one (1) case, and the Fate of Only one (1) Greek Cypriot "Missing" person, among more than 1.500...

- Ankara's Government already had Many full Months, since the Previous CoE Committee of Ministers' Human Rights session, and more than 42 Years since those "Disappearances", soon after the 1974 Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Part of Cyprus, in order to Make serious Investigations on their Fate.


Therefore, there is No Excuse for Starting to present the slightest trace of One alleged "Investigation" Only During the Day in which CoE had just Began to Examine and Discuss All those cases.

- Even if Turkey Admits that this Case "concerned one among the Most Serious Crimes", which still remains totally UnSolved, nevertheless, it Announces that its "File has been Closed" by its subordinate authorities  !

- Under Pretext that, as Turkey Claims, its agents would have "conducted (UnDetermined) Searches" (sic !), But ..."did Not Find Any Evidence or Trace", Not Even there Where UNO's Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) had, on the Contrary, Managed to Find, Earlier "the Remains" of a Killed Greek Cypriot "Missing" person...

+ In Addition Turkey Claims that, according to what had Merely "said the Son" of a key Suspect, ("Named" by the Family of the Victim), he would have "Died in 1992", and, therefore, Not even a simple "Statement could Not be Obtained from him" Now.


But, (even if this would be Supposed as, perhaps, True), However, "Eurofora" knows (on the Basis mainly of Official Documents and Testimonies, since 1992 in Strasbourg), that it was ...Turkey itself which notoriously Persisted to Block, even a simple Publication, of the 1st ever CoE's Official Report which had Initialy Examined, Verified and Denounced the Fact that serious Risks of Crimes to have been Committed on many Greek Cypriot "Missing" People, really Existed, and Must be Efficiently Investigated, before it becomes too late, as it had Concluded, already as Early as since the 1980ies !


Indeed, this concerned an Official Report on Cyprus by the former European Commission on Human Rights (which Historically Existed since the Creation of the ECHR, until a Reform of that System on 1998), which had been Kept Secret, during several Years, and classified as "Confidential", until the Cypriot Government Accepted to promise Not to pursue the matter further into the Court, but to consider that this Procedure had Finished merely by its Publication (i.e. withOut any Investigation to Find those Responsible for the Enforced "Disappearances", and withOut any Sanction against eventual Criminals)... And, indeed, this was Agreed, among Diplomats, on that Initial Inter-State case, ...Exactly on 1992 : I.e., by an Astonishing "Coincidence", precisely When that Suspect No 1, would have, allegedly, "Died", all out of a Sudden (Comp. Supra) !


=> Therefore, Turkey, whose Negative Behavior is the main Responsible for Blocking ECHR's functioning until, at least, 1992 (in that key Initial Case), canNOT, Now, Find Any alleged "Excuse" in an eventual Obstacle to the Required Efficient Investigation, that Ankara Provoked by itself, (Obviously in order to Block such Investigations)...

++ Moreover, Nowadays, Turkey also Claims on 9/2017, that, Despite some (UnDetermined and Vague) "Searches", and/or (also UnDetermined and Vague) "Interviews", allegedly made by Ankara's agents Recently, in that individual case of a "Missing" Greek Cypriot found Killed, (Comp. Supra), nevertheless, the mere "Passage of 43 Years since the event (1974-2017), had Rendered UnFeasible (sic !) the Questioning of the relevent Persons, and Collection of further Information and Evidence" !


If such a strange Turkish Claim was, eventually, accepted, then, ... it's practicaly All, or almost, More than 1.500 Cases of "MISSING" Greek-Cypriot People, which would Risk to be Definitively and Totally Blocked, and All eventual Criminals would Escape entirely UnHarmed, withOut even Discovering, ever, the Truth on what really Happened to them...


Moreover, WHO bears the main Responsibility for that Delay ? Who provoked that awful Waste of precious Time ? - Who else than ... Turkey itself, which has notoriously Attempted to Block and/or Delay, during almost All these Years, any Independent and Efficient Investigation on what really Happened too all those "MISSING" Greek Cypriots, and Who is Responsible for their Enforced Disappearance...


It's, precisely, for that reason, that ECHR initially Concluded on Turkey's heavy Responsibilities with that Report written on the 1980ies and Published on 1992, Comp. Supra), and Afterwards Condemned Ankara at another "Cyprus v. Turkey" Inter-State Case on 2001, added also to the susbequent ECHR Condamnations, in a Series of Individual Applications, lodged by the Victims' Families, at the Famous "Varnava" Case on 2010, (etc). And all this has been, practically, Confirmed, even more Clearly than ever, also with a landmark ECHR Great Chamber's Decision of 2014, which Explicitly reiterated Turkey's Obligation to, at last, Investigate all those Cases of so many Greek Cypriot "Missing" People, and the subsequent CoE Committee of Ministers' Duty to Convince Ankara to, at last, Abide by ECHR's Judgements which undeniably Require such Efficient Investigations. Many CoE Committee of Ministers' Decisions also, at several occasions, Until Recently, have Explicitly "Urged" Turkey to do so, the Soonest, as a matter of "Urgency", Before it Might Become, eventually, in this or that particular case, Too Late, by provoking the Destruction of Evidence of Crimes.


That's, indeed, why Turkey was Repeatedly Condemned by the ECHR under Article 2 of the PanEuropean Convention of Human Rights,; which Protects Life, for Lack of Any Efficient Investigations in the Cases of Greek Cypriot "Missing" People, and even under Article 3, for Inhuman and Degrading Treatments of Victims' Families, because Turkey has for Decades Refused or Failed to give them Any useful Information on What Happened to their Beloved ones, who "Disappeared"", in Life-Threatening Situations, at Areas Controlled by Ankara's Invasion/Occupation Army.


=> Therefore, obviously, Turkey canNot, Now, (After all these Decades of Silence, Delays, Obstructions, and/or Failings to really Search the Truth and Do Justice), Find a Pretext or Excuse on what it has illegaly and scandalously Provoked itself !


+ Unless, it all Means, in substance, that a New Fact has been Created, more or less Recently : The Destruction of Evidence of Crimes by Turkey's earlier and prolonged Behavior.


>>> In that case, such a New Fact must, naturally, be clearly and Distinctively Denounced and Condemned in itself, by the ECHR, with relevant, specific Sanctions by CoE's Committee of Ministers : 


=> If, indeed, some Turkish Officials provoked, by their Acts and/or Ommissions, during Decades (f.ex. from 1980 up to 2010+ : Comp. Supra), such a Huge and Scandalous Cover-Up even of Horrible Crimes committed in the Past by Others among their populations, in the areas that Ankara's Military Controls, then, All those "New" and Supplementary Wrong-Doers, Culprits, and/or Additional Criminals, Must Face adequate Sanctions and Justice be done, also as far as their, Additional and Subsequent Wrongdoings (f.ex. Complicity to Crimes, Destruction of Evidence, Recell, Obstruction of Justice, etc) are concerned !


This should, normally, be much More Simple to do, since almost All of those Additional Culprits would probably be still Alive (since their Acts and/or Ommissions are much more Recent), and Easily Identified. ]

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=> By a Timely Coincidence, the overall scandalous Picture of All these Facts, astonishingly Fits with a very Expressive, Original Painting presented these Days at an Exhibition of 2 German Artists inside the CoE, sponsored by the PanEuropean Organisation's Cultural Club, where "Eurofora" was Invited, right in Front of ECHR's Building in Strasbourg :

 

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- Among the Various Colorfull Artworks exhibited here by Painters Gertrud E. Wurth and Harm Gerdes, both from nearby Darmstadt (Germany), the Latter included also a Spectacular Tragic Picture, in which, the Spectator may see a Criminal attempting to Kill, with one Hand, his Victim, while, by anOther, Usurpating his Money, Together with his Cultivated Fields and Land. This translates, at the Painting, with a Yellow Color becoming Brighter at that Criminal's Figure, as he Steals the Life and Belongings of his Victim, who, by Dying, progressively Loses his own Color, Falling Down into a more and more Gray Nothingness, and Threatened to be soon Totaly Erased, Drown at a Flood of Red Blood below his feet. But, at the Last Minute, that Victim finds the Moral Strength to, at least, Launch a Final, Dramatic Appeal for Help and/or in order to, at least, Denounce those Horrible Crimes, exclude that they might be Forgotten or Covered up, and Ask for Justice to be done. Then, Suddenly, that Victim's Appeal is Magically Transformed into a kind of Bright Light, which Flyes Upwards, joining a Vertical Bright Beam of Energy, which Succeeds to Advance High at the Top of the Sky's Horizon, (from where, on the Contrary, the Criminal's lower Figure seems Excluded)...

- "Eurofora" was, sincerely, Astonished, by that, Exceptional Painting, (placed among Many Other, various Paintings with Different Images), even if its Creator, the 22 y.o. Young Painter Gerdes (who studied Art in Germany and the UK) prefered Not to tell us what he wanted to say with that, but Rather ... Ask us, with a Serious, but kind Smile, what We were seeing in its colorful, tragic Content ! 

We only Guessed the True Meaning of that Exceptional, Tragic, but Superb Painting, when we realized that Gerdes' Mother (nowadays a Beautiful, Serious and Kind German Lady), was of Cypriot origin, Born at the Island...


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In fact, speaking of Art, Nowadays, the prolonged Turkey's Disrespect vis a vis  ECHR's Case-Law reminds World-Famous Gabriel Garcia-Marquez' Nobel Prize Winner book "100 Years of Solitude" :


- The Writer describes an area where Massive Horrible Crimes were allegedly committed against Many Innocent People, who have Mysteriously "Disappeared", all gone "Missing", including most of their belongings, withOut leaving any visible sign to nowadays travellers.


>>> But, the Tragic Despair of those vainly Trying to Find the Truth on what Really Happened to all those Human Persons, and where have they been, who is Responsible for their "Disappearance", or any trace of their remains and History might still Exist Today, is, unexpectedly, Dissipated :


- A Colorfull "Cloud" of beautifull Butterflies, suddenly Fly accross the Sky, coming and going around a focal point, now lost amidst a Dense Forest which has grown throughout a long forgotten area : There where, once, an Historic Community of Many People used to Live, for Thousands of Years, Free, with a vivid Culture, with a Memory and a Future at the Horizon. Until they were Brutally Aggressed, Tortured and Slaughtered, or Forced to Flee, while their Homes, Cultivated Fields and Land were Usurpated by a Violent Invasion of Armed Bands, who Systematically Erased Any Trace of their Victims.


Such a "cloud" of Butterflies, which started to Fly around such spots, Marks a Hidden Tragic History, that it's our elementary Duty to Help Reveal, in order to do Justice to the Victims by, at last, Unmasking and punishing those Responsible for their "Disappearance" and their Accomplices, so that the People would Not be Afraid that such Horrible Crimes might, eventually, be Committed again in the Future.

 

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(../..)

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Benedict's "Source" to revitalize Europe : - "The World needs Hope", Pope says, calling to relaunch E.U. via Human Rights !

Paris - Lourdes - Strasbourg : 12 - 17 September 2008.

The vital need to re-launch Europe can be succesfully met by defending fundamental Human Rights of the People, said Pope Benedict XVI in his 1st speech in France, at his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently chairs the EU.

Sarkozy replied by welcoming Christian and other religions' contribution to indispensable Public Debates on crucial issues which affect Human Dignity, Europe, even Humankind, as BioGenetics.

- "When Europeans will see and personally experience that the inalienable Rights of the Human Person .., those of their free Education, their Family life, their Work, ..their Religious Rights, ..are respected and promoted, then, these Europeans will fully understand the greatness of the European construction and will be actively involved in it", Benedict XVI stressed.

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- "It's important that during France's EU Presidency, there is, indeed, a desire for the Church to contribute to protect Human Person's integrity, and I think that there is also a growing Conscience, beyond any polemics, to defend Human Rights, and, thus, contribute to ensure respect for Human Dignity", added to "EuroFora" the Pope's Spokesman, Vatican's Press Director Federico Lombardi.

- "Nobody really told us here that Lisbon Treaty was good for this or that reason to the People. They only told us that we "had" to ratify it, and tried to scare us, but failed", said 2 Irish pilgrims to "EuroFora", after 2 Majority Abstentions in 1999 and 2004 EU Elections and 3 "NO" to Referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005, followed by the Irish "No" in 2008, during a Decade of EU Crisis since the controversial Turkey EU- bid (1999-2008).

More than .."224 cases of Murders, Torture, "Disappearancies" or Destructions" by "agents of Turkish Security forces", where all those responsible for so heavy Crimes still remain scandalously unpunished, despite regular condemnations of Ankara by Strasbourg''s European Court of Human Rights from 1996 to 2008, were examined the same week by CoE's Ministers, who decided to launch a fresh call "urging" the Turkish Authorities to end this dangerous "virtual Impunity" of criminals, without comparison to European countries.

- "Why not Ukraine, instead of Turkey ?", asked EuroFora a Journalist from "Kiev : the city where it's enough to cross the streets in order to realize that it's a European town", as Sarkozy recently said, before solemnly declaring this week, together with Ukranian President Jushenko and EU Commission's chair Baroso, EU's "recognition that Ukraine is a fully European Country, linked to Europe by culture and History".

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Europe's "Christian roots" and Values, with "openess and mutual respect" to other cultures and beliefs, were highlighted by Sarkozy in harmony with Benedict XVI.

The Human person should be protected "from his inception until his natural death", added the Pope, faithful to BioEthic principles defended by his predecessor and collaborator, John Paul II, of topical importance in France, Europe and the World today, as Sarkozy announced :

- "Fast and important progres in Genetic Science and procreation raise delicate BioEthical Questions to our Democracies", which "involve our view of Humans and Life, and can lead to Social Mutations. That's why they cannot remain only a business of experts", hestressed.

- "It's Politician's responsibility to set a proper framework for such Public Debates", as "France will do on BioEthics in 2009". "Religious and Philosophic traditions must take part, with their ideas and centuries' long experience : A positive Laicity is an open invitation to Dialogue", he said.

- "France engaged in Europe at another Debate on how to make Financial Capitalism more moral", and the "Social doctrine of the Church fits well what is at stake in modern Globalized Economy"

- "But, a "Real Dialogue is not for an elite of a Globalized world : It penetrates deep into the People : That's why Churches should actively participate : .. It's bringing New Oxygen to Public Debates", stressed Sarkozy.

- "Democracy must not be cut off Reason", which is "compatible with Faith", thanks to "the meeting between Christianism and Greek philosophy ", he added, referring to Pope's views. "It means to advance with logic arguments, search what's best and respect common principles of thinking :... It's an everyday need for Public Administration and the Political Debate", he added.
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Pope Benedict's 1st visit to France looked like the start of a brillant, manifold demonstration that this was well-founded and could become true in the lives of the People : After its Theoretical foundations unfolded at a "speech to the world of Culture", inaugurating Bernadins' cultural centre, and its dogmatic instrument shaped at an address to the Clergy in the Historic Notre Dame' Cathedral, he started to resolutely reach out to the People :

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The move went upwards like Bach's music : Begining with a call to more than fifteen thousand enthousiastic Youngsters gathered at Notre Dame's parvis with overnight celebrations, it gained strength in an impressive open-air Mass at Paris'central Invalides'area facing Alexander III's bridge, attended by more than 150.000 people, French Prime Minister Fillon, many Ministers, Foreign Ambassadors, etc, and culminated in a series of pan-European Mega-meetings at Lourdes 150th anniversary, together with all French Bishops, EU Commission's vice-Chairman Barrot, and some 200.000 enthousiastic People from all over Europe and beyond : After a Sea of Lights astonishingly braved Saturday Night's rain, an open-air mass at riverside fields among Pyrenees' Mountains Sunday Morning, was followed on Monday by a Sea of "Compassion" to those facing Health or Life threats, surrounded by an endless gathering of People, whose gigantic dimensions obviously surprised the organisers..

Meanwhile, Benedict had the occasion to speak to the French Priests at Notre Dame of Paris, and with the Bishops at Lourdes, where they prepare a crucial November plenary meeting, due to take important decisions on imminent EU debates and choices about Europe's identity, BioEthics, etc.
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- "A new way of thinking about Laicity has become necessary", agreed the Pope with President Sarkozy at Elysee. While keeping the "distinction between Politics and Religion, to guarantee Citizens' Liberty", "religion is important for shaping Consciousness and contributing, together with others, to create a basic Ethical Consensus in society".

- "Searching Essential realities", (as "God" for christians), needs "Speech : "Logos" in greek, i.e. Reason", "able to shape a Community","with creative work transforming Human History". But "Dialogue" is instrumental for "Reason", because it's the way to "search" for Truth", in "Liberty", according to Greek Platonic Philosophy, with Socrates' dialectics. "Reason" implies "Spirit and Liberty", hence the polyphonic "Music" of "Dialogue", in a responsible, "well balanced" way, to avoid "destruction".

Starting with a "Dialogue between christians and intellectual or artistic movements" highlighted at Bernardins' Cultural Center. with former Presidents Chirac and Giscard d'Estain, UNESCO's chair Anastassopoulos, etc., as well as representatives of Muslim Communities, (including a separate Turkish), after contacts with Jews at Vatican's Embassy, the Pope turned towards the People :

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To French Priests : "Church built on the rock" !
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- Speaking to thousands of French Priests at Notre Dame's Cathedral, Benedict highlighted a solid "Church built on the Rock" of conscious and active persons, transmitting "a lively, energetic and sharp" "God's Speech, actively working on Human History".

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"Praying together" with "representatives of Christian Churches and ecclesiastic communities", (as Orthodoxes, Armenians, Protestants, etc), he called "to reinforce the Unity of the church", against "any form of Division", around Holy Spirit', "the Word","Christ's Justice", and "Love" to fellow- humans : Essentials which "resume all holy scripts", as he said.

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To Young People : "New Horizons"
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To some 15.000 enthousiastic Young People at Notre Dame's parvis, along Seine's river, Benedict spoke about "the Energy of the Holy Spirit" and "the Mystery of the Cross" : - "The Holy Spirit opens New Horizons to Human Intelligence .. and makes it conscious of the real greatness of Christ's sacrifice, dying and resurecting for World's life".

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Some "may slander you as crazy, laugh at you, or even persecute you. But, "the Holy Cross is a symbol of God's love", and "givesmoral strength" : "Witness of People's pains, it's at the same time, a precious, unique expression of their Hopes", he told them at Paris' dawn.

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Invalides' plateau : "People chosen to become God's friends"
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At the 1st open-air Mass in Paris' center area of Invalides, facing the Grand Palais, along the river Seine, during an impressive gathering of more than 150.000, French Prime Minister Fillon, Ministers Alliot-Marie, Bachelot, Dati, Jouyet, Assembly's President Accoyer, Senate's Chair Poncelet, former 1st Lady Bernadette Chirac, former Prime Minister Raffarin, many foreign Ambassadors, and other political personalities were present. (While earlier, from the Socialist opposition, Paris' Mayor Delanoye, artist Robert Hussein a.o. assisted at the Elysee meeting).

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But the "Entry Song" focused on the "People chosen to become God's Friends". The September 11 mass was Dedicated to "Saint Chrysostomus, that great priest of Constantinople", with his "wonderful eloquence and great courage to face challenges", who "made out of despaired and godless people, a people of brothers", opening a possibility to "become all one complete entity", as Pope Benedict reminded.

- "Reason never enters in real contradiction with Faith", stressed Pope Benedict, who prepared his speeches for France during a short Summer rest at Brixen/Bressanone's Seminar, whose Library honors both "Faith and Science".. - "We must use not only our Reason, but also our Faith" : "Get away from Idolatry", "cupidity", "avidity for money, power or even knowledge deviating from essential aims", and other "falses appearances". and "build your Home on the Rock", "with the force that Holy Spirit gives to those who let it act in them", he said to the People of Paris.

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Benedict at Lourdes : - "Become Light (even) in the Dark !"
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- "Our World needs Hope", stressed Pope Benedict, addressing an impressive TorchLight procession at Lourdes' sanctuaries, where a Sea of Lights held by Hundreds of Thousands of People gathered at Pyrenee's Mountains from all over Europe astonishingly kept their flames despite a heavy Rain at a windy Dark Night...

- "150 years earlier (1858 - 2008), ..here, in the cave, ... a simple young girl, Bernadette .. saw a Light". "The everyday life of her Family was, however, made of Misery, Sadness, Sickness, Misunderstandings, Rejection and Poverty... It was hard to live in Jail". Today, "we think to all Human Beings who suffer : The innocent Victims who face Violence, War, Terrorism, Hunger, Injustices, Catastrophes, Hate and Oppression, Violations of Human Dignity and of their fundamental Rights, of their Liberty to act and think. We also think to those who face Familial problems, sufferings from Unemployment, Sickness, Infirmity, Isolation, or their situation as Immigrants, without forgetting those who suffer and die for the name of Christ", he said.

- "But the Shadows of the Earth, did not hinder Sky's Light to shine : <<The Light shines in the Dark>>" ..."A Way full of Light opens in Human History even in its Darkest moments" : ..."As Night falls, Christ tels us : <<- Keep your Lamps alight !>>."Hold a Light while walking in the Night .. sums up our condition as Christians on their way : "We need light, and we are called to become Light !", Benedict stressed to People setting in motion Lights, Flags and Songs with enthousiasm.

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"<<- She looked at me as a Person, who speaks to another Person>>, the poor girl had noted."Light emerges from such a Dialogue", stressed the Pope : "A small Flame called Hope, Compassion and Tenderness dwells inside those who return after being moved by Lourdes' experience". "Christ .. entrusts us with the Mission to let the Light of Charity shine : To make of our Prayers an Act of Love to our brothers and to Fraternal Charity", he concluded.

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(../..)

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