Report: Greek Orthodox bishops in U.S. may take Turkish citizenship

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Theodore Kalmoukos of the National Herald is reporting that "the government of Turkey seems to be willing to grant Turkish citizenship to all those hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who serve outside of Turkey. Turkish citizenship will allow them to freely participate in all the administrative activities of the Patriarchate including the right to be candidates for the Ecumenical Throne when … [Read more...]

‘No progress’ in Turkey

From Forum 18: Religious communities in Turkey have seen no significant progress in 2009 in resolving the long-standing property problems faced by communities as diverse as Alevi Muslims, Catholics, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Greek Orthodox, Protestants, and the Syrian Orthodox Church. Several legal cases in 2009 highlight the difficulties religious minority communities face in … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: Turkish relations improving

Greek Reporter's Anastasios Papapostolou interviews Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I about improving relations with the Turkish government and his upcoming environmental symposium in the United States next month. Greek Reporter: It is a great honor for us to meet you. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: Your visit gives me joy and I am glad we are meeting today. I would like to take a moment … [Read more...]

Erdogan and the Christians

Vatican analyst Sandro Magister takes a closer look at the recent meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. "But like other conciliatory gestures in the past, this one also risks producing no results," notes the introduction on Chiesa online. Magister examines Pope Benedict XVI's reservations about the entry of Turkey into the European … [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...]

Halki: ‘Same old story’

Nat da Polis, in a new report in AsiaNews, quotes a "senior lecturer" from the "almost non existent Orthodox community" in Istanbul on the Halki Seminary question. The lecturer, a Greek, expects little movement from Turkish authorities toward reopening the seminary. “In short it’s the same old story," says the lecturer. Full report follows: Despite Europe's request, Ankara continues to waver … [Read more...]

Report: Religious artifacts in Cyprus in ‘great peril’

A report in the Washington Times by Julia Duin: Religious artifacts on the divided island of Cyprus are in "great peril," according to a U.S. Helsinki Commission document to be released Tuesday afternoon. Thousands of Orthodox icons, manuscripts, frescoes and mosaics have been looted from churches, chapels and monasteries in northern Cyprus, ending up on international auction blocks, says … [Read more...]

Opening Halki A Done Deal?

Fr. Dositheos Anagnostopoulos, spokesman for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, says the issue concerning the reopening of the Halki Seminary has been resolved: In an interview published yesterday in the Taraf daily, ... Anagnostopoulos said: “Erdoğan will certainly etch his name in history. He is the first politician to directly address issues, avoiding euphemisms when referring to them. He has … [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...]

Patriarch Kirill Meets with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan

Report from the Department of External Relations, Moscow Patriarchate: The head of the Turkish Government expressed satisfaction at Patriarch Kirill’s visit and the fact that he visited not only Istanbul but also the Turkish capital city of Ankara. The sides noted with satisfaction the developing relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation. Mr. Erdogan spoke about … [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...]

Bartholomew, Kirill Hold Patriarchal ‘Summit’ in Istanbul

A quick roundup: Andrei Zolotov, Jr., Chief Editor of Russia Profile and Deputy Director of the RIA Novosti Foreign Service, says that the recent Chambesy conference organized to discuss the "diaspora" resulted in Constantinople making concessions to Moscow. A report in the Kyiv Post says the patriarchs are putting on "a united front" despite the fact that they were to discuss the "sensitive issue … [Read more...]

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