Istanbul Greek school down to just one student

Valendi Mihailidis is seen in a classroom of the Kadıköy Greek Elementary School, where he is the only student. Only 10 out of 22 Greek schools in Istanbul have students. Radikal photo, Mine TUDUK

If 10-year-old Valendi Mihailidis forgets his pen or notebook at home, there is no one at his school he can borrow one from. The fourth-grader is the only student at the Kadıköy Greek Primary School in Istanbul, one of 22 schools in the city serving just 214 pupils.

When asked if he ever gets bored without other students around, Valendi told daily Radikal, “I want to have friends too, but there are also good sides of being alone.”

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Unidentified assailants vandalize graves in Greek Orthodox cemetery

Several grave stones in a Greek Orthodox cemetery in the Aegean island of Gökçeada were vandalized on the night of Oct. 28, according to a press release sent to Today’s Zaman by the Foreign Ministry.

The release added that the incident was made public upon a criminal complaint filed at a prosecutor’s office by the Gökçeada Municipality. An immediate investigation was launched into the incident. Efforts are ongoing to catch the perpetrators of the attack.

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Christen in der Türkei

Der Altar der Paulus-Kirche in Tarsus, der Heimat des Apostels Paulus

Was religiöse Toleranz und Religionsfreiheit angeht, kann die Türkische Republik dem Osmanischen Reich das Wasser nicht reichen. Die heutige Türkei versteht sich als weltlicher Staat, doch verweigert gerade sie den – kaum noch vorhandenen – Christen elementare Rechte.

Weiterlessen…

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German minister urges Turkey to protect minority rights

The visiting German interior minister said Friday that he has urged Turkish officials to protect religious freedom and address the problems facing the country’s minorities.

“I asked Turkish officials to continue their efforts to resolve minorities’ problems concerning obtaining property,” Thomas de Maiziere told reporters during a press conference at the German Embassy in Ankara.

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“The night of Istanbul massacres” 55 years later

On September 6 and 7 in 1955 in the Turkish cities Istanbul and Izmir were organized the massacres of the Greek population, which later turned into Armenian as well. The tragic events of those days are known as «Night of Istanbul massacres» or «Night of national extermination in Constantinople.”

The massacres of the Christian population have been carried out by the Turkish authorities in response to the demand of the Cypriot Greeks to recognize their independence and to connect it with Greece.

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Christian Woman’s Faith Attacked In Istanbul Airport

Returning from a recent trip to Lebanon, Helen Talia, traveling with  her friend Laurice Somo, both from Chicago, approached the security gates at Istanbul Ataturk International Airport, carrying a host of religious (Christian) gifts ~ crosses, rosaries in her carry-on  handbag.

«No sooner did I approach the first security attendant, says Talia, my bag was turned upside down and ridded of all the religious gifts I had brought back from places of worship I had traveled thousands of miles in pilgrimage to Lebanon ~ Mar Charbel and Haresa. Needless to say, the manner in which the procedure was carried out was very vicious and without any regard to the value that another human places on his or her spiritual practices.

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The Christmas Message of the Ecumenical Patriarch

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Prot. No. 1237 

BARTHOLOMEW

By God’s Grace

Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome

and Ecumenical Patriarch

To the Plenitude of the Church

Grace, peace and mercy from the Savior Christ

Born in Bethlehem

 

Beloved concelebrants and blessed children in the Lord,

Heaven and earth have united

Through the birth of Christ.

Today, God has appeared on earth,

And man has ascended to heaven.

(Christmas Hymn)

The distance and separation between God and humanity resulting from sin has been abolished with the assumption of the entire human nature by the Only-Begotten Son and Pre-eternal Word of God. It was God’s good will – that is to say, His initiative and will – that the incarnation of His Son should abolish all such distance uniting heaven and earth, as well as creation with its Creator. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Turkey prepares to join EU in a building confiscated from the Orthodox

Unbelievable but true: the headquarters of the Secretariat for the entry of Turkey into the European Union is a building confiscated from the Orthodox Christian community in the 90s. The building is located in Istanbul, in the well-known area of Ortakoy, under the first bridge over the Bosphorus.

Before the seizure, the building was used as a primary school for children of the minority Orthodox in Ortakoy. Here, once lived a thriving Orthodox community, now non-existent because of past purges against minorities, executed by the «secular» Turkish State.

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National Healthcare and the Church-State Relationship in Romiosini (Byzantium)

hospital

http://www.amazon.com/Birth-Hospital-Byzantine-Empire/dp/0801856574

«Dr. Miller is a learned and enterprising historian with a fascinating theme. He shows beyond a doubt that the Western hospital tradition goes back to the early Byzantine Empire in the fourth century.» — Medical History

Fr. Romanides writes about the relationship between Church and State in the Roman Empire following the conversion to Christianity of Emperor Constantine the Great saying:

«The great struggle between paganism and Christianity in the time of Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337) is reflected in the difference between Roman Greeks (meaning Pagans) and Roman Christians. All Pagan Romans were defending their aristocratic ancient Hellenic identity and traditions which was being torn apart by the aristocratic identity of the cure of glorification which was open to all Romans, both gentis and non-gentis, and to all non-Romans.» Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Turkey’s Forgotten Islamist Pogrom

By: Alyssa A. Lappen

In 1955, a little-known war was launched on the Greek population of Istanbul.

For 50 years, historians, diplomats and state department officials have touted Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as a great secular leader in a predominantly Muslim region, whose policies modernized and democratized Turkey, shaping it into a Western-style state. But Ataturk was western only insofar as he implemented the Turkification of Gobineau, wherein he substituted the Turks for the Aryans, whose ideology had terrible results in the rise of European Nazism. Regardless, in 1955, barely 17 years after the dictator’s death, a little-known pogrom, driven primarily by Islamic fanaticism, targeted the Greek population of Istanbul, with the intent of driving non-Muslims from Turkey. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

What happened on 6-7 September 1955? (With photographic documents)

Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople inside the ruins of the destroyed Orthodox church of Saint Constantine, Istanbul.

Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople inside the ruins of the destroyed Orthodox church of Saint Constantine, Istanbul.

Supporting the views of Democratic Party, Istanbul Express Newspaper was owned by Mithat Perin, editorial director of that time was Gökşin Sipahioğlu. «Our father Atatürk’s house has been bombed» made the headline of the newspaper’s second issue. On 6 September 1955 290,000 issues were printed, exceeding the usual newspaper circulation of 20,000 papers by far. Members of the Cyprus Turkish Association started to distribute the issue all over Istanbul to agitate the people.

Due to reports from eyewitnesses, the riot started from a place in Pangaltı, nowadays the location of Ramada Hotel owned by a Greek citizen. In 1955 this was the place of popular localities such as the ‘Haylayf’ pastry shop. The riot started with attacking Haylayf pastry shop at 7.00 pm. From here the attacks spread all over Istanbul and all over the country.

Years later journalist Fatih Güllapoğlu interviewed retired general Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu about the Istanbul Riots. Yirmibeşoğlu described the attacks by saying «It was an excellent special warfare operation and it reached its goal.» In those days the Greek authorities announced that the bombings in Thessaloniki were a provocation organized by the Turkish state. Oktay Engin, scholarship student at the Thessaloniki Faculty of Law and agent of the National Intelligence Agency (MİT), and Hasan Uçar, tipstaff of the consulate in Thessaloniki, were arrested in regards with this event. After some time in detention Engin and Uçar were released because of the immunity of consular officials. Later on, Engin was appointed to important tasks in MİT, progressed quickly through the different administrative levels of the state and was promoted to the Governorship of Nevşehir in 1992.

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Hauser von Christen in Istanbul gekennzeichnet (Γερμανικά, German)

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Protests rise as Turkish renovation work turns church into mosque

Silivri 832

Istanbul – Restoration work that would result in an historic Greek Orthodox church being recognized as a mosque has caused uproar in Turkey, reported the daily Milliyet newspaper on Tuesday. At issue is the 178-year-old St Dimitrios church in the northern Turkish village of Silivri.

The village was once a Greek settlement but, after the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, ethnic Greek residents had to leave in a forced resettlement that swapped 1.5 million ethnic Greeks from Turkey for 600,000 ethnic Turks living in northern Greece. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Istanbul: une marque sur des maisons de chrétiens

church 1955

mercredi 26 août 2009

Dernièrement, à Istanbul, des maisons de chrétiens ont été marquées par des inconnus. Récemment aussi, dans des quartiers de la même ville, où vivent des minorités chrétiennes, en l’occurrence grecque et arménienne, les noms de familles chrétiennes ont été marqués en vert et en rouge sur des habitations. Ces actions évoquent le pogrom de la minorité chrétienne en septembre 1955. En effet, juste avant, des maisons de chrétiens, ainsi que des magasins, avaient été pareillement signalées.

Source: http://www.orthodoxie.com/2009/08/istanbul-une-marque-sur-des-maisons-de-chr%C3%A9tiens.html

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Turkish Prime Minister promises reform to religious minorities

Washington Post

 By Ayla Jean Yackley

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan promised democratic  reforms on Saturday in a rare meeting with Turkey’s religious minority leaders highlighting the issue of minority rights, a key stumbling block in its EU membership bid.

Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and leaders of the small Armenian, Jewish, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic communities had lunch with Erdogan and senior ministers on Buyukada island near Istanbul, a patriarchate official told Reuters on condition his name not be used. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Hagia Sophia’s angel uncovered! (With video)

hagia-sofia8217s-angel-uncovered-2009-07-24_l

Watch the video here (about 3-and-a-half minutes)

SERKAN AKKOÇ
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet
Friday, July 24, 2009

Experts have uncovered one of the six angel mosaics within the world-famous Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul after it had been hidden for 160 years behind plaster and a metal mask.

The mosaic, which measures 1.5 meters by 1 meter, was last seen by Swiss architect Gaspare Fossati, who headed restoration efforts at the museum between 1847 and 1849, and Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid. Experts were surprised to see that the mosaic, believed to date from the 14th century, was so well preserved. 

Hagia Sophia, built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian between A.D. 532 and 537, was originally a basilica before it was converted into a mosque when Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1453. During the conversion process, the Ottomans covered the mosaics with plaster instead of removing them.  Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Ankara continua a nicchiare sulla libertà religiosa

patriarchate1

TURCHIA

Malgrado lo chieda l’Europa, Ankara continua a nicchiare sulla libertà religiosa

NAT da Polis

Il responsabile Ue per l’allargamento ha detto che il processo di adesione della Turchia passa anche attraverso la scuola di Halki, istituto di formazione del clero del Patriarcato ecumenico, chiuso dal 1971. Il governo tace, mentre cresce il dibattito sui media. La vera questione è il riconoscimento dello status del Patriarcato. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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Is the ecumenical patriarchate in Turkey waiting for Godot?

patriarchate

Since the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power in 2002, the reopening of the Halki Seminary has repeatedly returned to the political agenda in Turkey.

There is almost a pattern. Some government officials say, “There is no harm in reopening the school [which was closed down in 1971], and there are some preparations taking place to that effect.” If you read these statements you can get the (wrong) impression that there is only technical work needing to be done, and the government is working on it. For the last seven years, we have heard exactly the same story. But, in the end, nothing comes out. Why? 

Because the Halki Seminary is only a part of a much more complex question that may not be well appreciated even by the government itself. The question is namely the existence of the ecumenical patriarchate in Turkey. There is a deep-rooted state policy that has brought the patriarchate to the verge of total extinction. This policy was shaped during the late Ottoman and early republican era and has been applied vigorously since then. This is a policy of taking gradual steps to push this historical institution into a corner to force it to choose one of the two options: Either it will stay in Turkey and will lose everything slowly and painfully, or it will leave Turkey once and for all. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Ecological destruction is ‘sacrilegious’, says Orthodox church leader

fishEcumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I, seen by many of the world’s Orthodox Christians as their spiritual leader, has called the destruction of the environment a «sacrilegious and sinful» act.

«The ecological crisis, and particularly the reality of climate change, constitutes the greatest threat for every form of life in our world,» Bartholomeos said in a statement issued to mark World Environment Day on 5 June.

«With the opening of this third millennium, environmental issues already evident since the 20th century acquired a new intensity, coming to the forefront of daily attention,» said Bartholomeos, who is sometimes called the Green Patriarch because of his public support for the environmental cause. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

CHRISTIAN MONASTERY IN TURKEY WINS BACK LAND

Mor Gabriel Monastery

Mor Gabriel Monastery

Reuters

 May 22 2009

 UK

 ISTANBUL (Reuters) – One of the world’s oldest functioning Christian  monasteries has won a legal battle to have land it had owned for  centuries restored to it, after a Turkish court ruled on Friday it  could not be claimed by the state.

The dispute over the boundaries of Mor Gabriel, a fifth-century Syriac  Orthodox monastery in eastern Turkey, had raised concerns over freedom of religion and human rights for non-Muslim minorities in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country and European Union aspirant. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco blasts Met. Jonah for persecuting the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

VatopaidiFriend: Rev. Fathers, dear brothers in Christ, The main aim of the contributors of the vatopaidi.wordpress.com is to work for the worldwide unity of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, namely Orthodoxy. Any texts concerning the Orthodox spiritual life, any news about Orthodoxy or other relevant information is welcomed. Our aim is to publish and/or republish Orthodox information from all Patriarchates and all jurisdictions that are in communion with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Within this context, we avoid to interfere with church politics. In some cases the latter has more to do with human errors than with divine illumination. Human errors are to be corrected with spirit of love in Christ and humility. We support all Orthodox Patriarchates (Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Moscow, e.t.c.) and all Orthodox jurisdictions. However, we always keep in mind that as the Ecumenical conventions have decided, the primary (among equals) patriarchate is the one in Constantinople. For this reasons we decided to republish the letter of His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco.

 

mount-sermon2Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you,
and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward
in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:11-12).


Dearly Beloved in the Lord,
Christos Anesti!

The Church of Constantinople, tracing her apostolic roots back to St. Andrew the First Called of the Apostles, continues to preserve the integrity and sanctity of our Christian Orthodox Church. The apostolicity of the Throne of Constantinople is further acknowledged by the historical fact that the Apostle and Evangelist John preached in Asia Minor.

For over 2000 years, faithful Orthodox Christians have kept the Church in Constantinople alive. This is especially true of the last 556 years, since the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans. Each day the faithful of the Ecumenical Throne, both clergy and laity, live their lives witnessing to our precious Faith in a Muslim world. Their world is one of sacrifice and persecution that comes from outside the Church. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »