September 2, 2014

Have GOA Metropolitans become citizens of Turkey?

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In a freewheeling interview with Hurriyet ("Turkey's English Daily") Pat. Bartholomew said (note last sentence): Bartholomew drew particular attention to the seminary problem. “Our generation is gradually becoming extinct, and I have concerns for the future. Where will our ecclesiastics get their education? Moreover, it would be proper to have a Halki Seminary graduate at the top of the … [Read more...]

The Halki Seminary and the Patriarchate’s Existential Crisis

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Azbarez.com AFP reported on Thursday that the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul, Bartholomew I, was hopeful Turkey would re-open a historic seminary it shut down nearly four decades ago. The Halki Orthodox Theological Seminary, located on the island of Halki off the coast of Istanbul, was the key Patriarchical institution for educating the Greek Orthodox Community and training its future … [Read more...]

The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the ‘Deep State’

Writing in Today's Zaman, Orhan Kemal Cengiz throws a little cold water on current reports that the Halki Seminary may be reopened. Has anything really changed, he asks? Cengiz points to a long campaign, dating back to the Ottoman period, designed to either force the patriarchate to leave or to push it into extinction. The Turkish "deep state" was behind much of this, the writer says. And he … [Read more...]

‘Istanbul is anxious’

Lots of press attention being paid to the possible reopening of the Halki Seminary in the wake of Patriarch Kirill's visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. (The patriarch is now back in Moscow where he met with President Obama.) In his analysis of the Bartholomew-Kirill meeting for Today's Zaman, Ali Murat Yel argues for a reopening of the seminary (known to Turks as Heybeliada) if the Turkish … [Read more...]

Report: Turkey to reopen Halki Seminary

Turkish newspapers say a deal is in the works. Will there be reciprocity from Greece? When President Obama was in Turkey, there were reports that "the recognition by Greek authorities of muftis in Thrace and financial support for Muslim schools might prompt a Turkish rethink on the Halki school." Here is the story from Hurriyet, the Turkish newspaper: ANKARA - The Halki seminary on the … [Read more...]

Mor Gabriel, Halki and Obama

A very timely story yesterday in the Wall Street Journal by Andrew Higgins about a land dispute between Syriac Orthodox monastery Mor Gabriel and Turkish authorities. Also yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, during a stop in Ankara, announced that President Obama will be visiting Turkey "in a month or so." She said this toward the end of her public remarks: I reiterate the … [Read more...]

Turkey and Religious Liberty

My interview with Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol was published today in The Acton Institute's Religion & Liberty quarterly. Our talk focused on the prospects for greater economic and religious liberty in Turkey. Mustafa blogs at The White Path. Excerpt: Let's talk about religious freedom. There's a great tension between the modern secularist path of Turkey, going back to Ataturk, and the … [Read more...]

‘A Patriarch in Dire Straits’

At the Acton Institute, where I labor as communications director, I published a commentary pegged to Patriarch Bartholomew's forthcoming book, "Encountering the Mystery." The commentary was also picked up by the Assyrian News Agency. Read the full commentary here. In 1971, the Turkish government shut down Halki, the partriarchal seminary on Heybeliada Island in the Sea of Marmara. And it has … [Read more...]