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 Patriarchate. Our ecclesiastics who studied at Halki Seminary and are currently serving abroad are all Turkish-loving people.”
Once Turkey’s principal facility for the training of Greek Orthodox clerics, the school was shuttered in 1971 in a ruling that curtailed most private higher education in Turkey. The ban has long been decried by both members of the local Greek community as well as the United States and the European Union.
Noting that the Turkish government has taken a significant step and granted the right for Fener Greek Patriarchate affiliated metropolitans serving in several countries to have Turkish citizenship as a secondary citizenship, Bartholomew said: “A substantial proportion of them have approved this. They have sent us their documents, and we have delivered them to Ankara. We are waiting for a response now.”
Read the entire interview on the Hurriyet website.