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 »

Erdoğan open on minorities, makes first visit to disputed Patriarchate buildings

Ecumenical Patriarchate

by NAT da Polis

Prime minister makes surprise visit to Bartholomew I and Büyükada Island, home to buildings owned by the Patriarchate, seized by the Turkish government, but recognised as Orthodox Church property by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The Turkish prime minister continues on his path as a Janus-faced leader, in favour of democracy and minority rights on the one hand and playing the Turkish nationalist card on the other.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) – An important event took place on 15 August, feast day of the Dormition (Assumption) of Mary. For the first time a Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, visited the orphanage and monastery of Ayia Yorgi (Saint George) of Kudunas on Büyükada (Prince or Foremost) Island in the Sea of Marmara. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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 »