ANKARA, Turkey — The spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox
Christians said Monday that Turkey’s new constitution should grant equal
rights to minorities in the country and safeguard religious freedoms.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I met with members of a
parliamentary subcommittee seeking an all-party consensus in drawing up a
new constitution, which will replace the one ratified in 1982 while
Turkey was under military rule. The subcommittee is meeting with
non-governmental organizations and representatives of minority groups
for input on the drafting of the new laws.