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 »

Why the deep state targets Christians

by ORHAN KEMAL CENGİZ

Father Andrea Santoro, a Catholic priest, was killed in Trabzon in 2006. No one realized then that this was the beginning of a pattern. The militant nationalist who killed Santoro was just 17 years old. The Santoro case was completed with lightning speed.

The youngster was sentenced, but nothing was revealed. Then, in 2007, Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian and a liberal journalist, was shot dead in front his newspaper, Agos, by another militant nationalist, who was again a 17-year-old boy from Trabzon. Three months after Dink’s murder, three missionaries were brutally killed in Malatya. After the Malatya massacre there were many other attacks and murder attempts targeting Christians once again. A Catholic priest was stabbed in the stomach during a service at a Catholic church in İzmir. In Samsun, Diyarbakır and Antalya, other murder attempts were prevented by successful operations by the police.  Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »