The Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Aug. 29 condemned recent attempts to threaten the well being of Ecumenical Patriarchate Bartholomew through the posting of fraudulent articles online under the name of Ambassador Arthur Hughes. Their statement said that Ambassador Hughes had nothing to do with their content and has been working with the Archons to remove such posts and inform others that they are not his work.
In mid–August, Oriental Review magazine published online an article titled “Does Turkey Need Patriarch Bartholomew?,” attributed to Ambassador Hughes. The article described Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as having close ties to Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish religious leader (who lives in the US), who Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has accused of being the leader of the recent failed military coup in Turkey. Following the protest of Ambassador Hughes, the article was taken down.
On Aug. 17 Euractiv.com published a second spurious article by Ambassador Hughes, making similar accusations, titled “Will Ankara Take Aim at Patriarch Bartholomew?” National Commander Limberakis strongly condemned such efforts on behalf of the Order. “Not only are these articles fraudulent, they are dangerous attempts to disparage His All-Holiness. We call on all media outlets to more responsibly confirm the source of articles submitted with regard to His All-Holiness.”
In a letter dated Aug. 30, Ambassador Hughes personally refuted the article in a letter to Archbishop Deme- trios. The entre text of his letter is as follows:
On August 16, 2016, an organization known as Oriental Review, www.oriental-review.org, placed on its website an article concerning the Patriarch of Constantinople and attributed it to me. I have subsequently learned that this article has been submitted to other journals. I can state categorically that I did not write this article, contribute it to Oriental Review or elsewhere, nor do I have any knowledge of the statements alleged in the article.
Mr. Andrey Fomin, founding editor of Oriental Review, has acknowledged by e-mail that they did not verify whether I in fact had sent the article, expressed regret and removed it from their website. Despite my repeated requests to Mr. Fomin, Oriental Review has not posted a statement indicating that the article in question and my alleged authorship were indeed a fabrication. Also, as I have told Mr. Fomin, even a cursory check of my work stated on various websites would have confirmed that I have never been engaged in either Turkish or Church matters. The fabrication and false attribution of the article in question are of great concern to me. I have consequently conveyed these facts to all who have inquired or, without proper due diligence, used the article.
Sincerely and with all best wishes,
Arthur H. Hughes