Syriac Christian elected in Turkey after 50 years
- ANKARA - A Syriac Christian has been elected to Turkey's new parliament, not seen in the overwhelmingly Muslim country for 50 years, it was reported Monday.
Erol Dora, 47, is a member of the orthodox Syriac Church and part of a small community also known as Assyrians based in Mardin in southern Turkey.
Elected as an independent, Dora was nevertheless backed by the main pro-Kurd group the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in Sunday's vote.
The sole Christian member of parliament, dominated once again by the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), has committed himself to being a voice for the country's Christians.
After his election Dora called on the European Union to welcome Turkey as a member and show that it is not a "Christian club", the Cihan news agency reported.
Turkey is home to Armenian Christians and members of the Greek Orthodox Church as well as Syriacs.
The country has seen a number of attacks against Christian communities in recent years.