11/13/15: Order of Saint Andrew Represented at Groundbreaking Social Media and Minorities Conference in Istanbul

Two Archons played a role in a groundbreaking conference in Istanbul, giving voice to the use of social media by religious minorities in Turkey.

The Nov. 13 conference — "Between Freedom of Expression and Hate Speech: Minorities and Social Media" — focused on research findings of the Social Media and Minorities Project. The Project is co-financed by the Republic of Turkey and the European Union and is the first such EU project ever implemented by minorities foundations.

Archon Laki Vingas of Istanbul spearheaded the conference, delivering one of the keynote addresses in his roles as Manager of the Social Media and Minorities Project and President of Istanbul’s Yeniköy Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church and School Foundation. The Foundation co-hosted the conference with the Istanbul Bilgi University Human Rights Law Research Center on the University’s campus. Vingas also serves as the representative of Non-Muslim Foundations, General Directorate of Foundations.

Archon John Metaxas of New York travelled to the conference to represent the Order. In his presentation, Archon Metaxas elaborated on the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the role of an Archon and how social media should be used in a respectful dialogue and debate. Said Archon Metaxas, “We applaud efforts to give religious minorities a voice in Turkey.”

More than one hundred professionals in social media, the news industry and members of academia attended the conference, which was part of the Civil Society Dialogue Programme.
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