Fundamentally Flawed

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by John Kaloudis I was dismayed to read the following in the recent issue of the Orthodox Observer: “Biden touched on three subjects that are at the core of the issues of greatest concern to Greek Orthodox Christians; the relationship between the United States and Greece, religious freedom, especially for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Christians in Turkey and the Cyprus question.” If these are the core issues of the GOA, the GOA has abandoned the core principles as prescribed by Jesus in … [Read more...]

Future of Greek minority in Turkey in the hands of the youth

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Source: Today's Zaman The youth of Turkey's Greek minority are facing critical demographic and educational problems which are complicating their ability to maintain their historical tradition in Turkey. Aug. 22 was the last day of the second biannual Greek reunion on the island of Burgazada. Turks and Greeks were reunited accompanied by the tune of Greek and Turkish songs in a celebration of their friendship that dates back many years. “In Burgazada, we're all one family,” said Vasilis, a … [Read more...]

ORTHODOX PATRIARCH HAILS CHANGING TURKEY IN MASS

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Source: Daily Sabah NEVŞEHİR – Presiding at a Sunday mass at a church in central Turkey, Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I said major changes in Turkey in terms of minority rights have paved the way for "previously unimaginable" religious services in the ancient churches of the Orthodox Christian community. The annual mass attended by an Orthodox Christian community was held in Timio Stavru, a Byzantine-era church in a village in the central Turkish province of Nevşehir's Ürgüp … [Read more...]

Statement on 2014 U.S. Commission’s Report on International Religious Freedom – Report Designates Turkey to a “Tier Two” Country

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Source: American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association WASHINGTON, DC -  Anthony Kouzounis, supreme president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the largest and oldest membership-based association for the nation's millions of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, issued the following statement on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom's release of its 2014 Annual Report on April 30: "The return of Turkey's … [Read more...]

Shut down Orthodox seminary in Turkey kept in pristine condition in the hope of a reopening

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Source: The Gazette (Montreal) ISTANBUL March 5, 2014 (AP) By AYSE WIETING Associated Press ISTANBUL - Although shut down for more than four decades, one of the Orthodox Church's most pre-eminent seminaries is kept in pristine condition in the hope that it may reopen one day to educate future patriarchs and clergy. The Theological School of Halki, perched atop a hill on Heybeli Island off Istanbul's coast, closed its doors in 1971 under a Turkish law that required private higher … [Read more...]

ICOMOS Turkey – Briefing on the Hagia Sophia Museum

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Source: Order of St Andrew the Apostle – Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Istanbul, Turkey ICOMOS Turkey, the International Council of Monuments and Sites, National Committee of Turkey, recently issued a report (below) regarding two issues of concern have recently emerged regarding Hagia Sophia Museum, the first of those being the plans for the reconstruction of the now extinct building of Hagia Sophia Madrasa, and the second, the public debate surrounding the refunctioning of Hagia … [Read more...]

Legal Entities of Non-Muslims: “Problems and Rights”

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Source: Order of St Andrew the Apostle - Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Istanbul, Turkey On behalf of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, on January 30, 2014, the Honorable B. Theodore Bozonelis, Archon Ekdikos and Regional Commander of New Jersey, attended a conference in Istanbul, Turkey sponsored by Bilgi University Faculty of Law in partnership with Community (Minority) Foundations and the Council of European Human Rights (the Venice Commission). The topic of the conference … [Read more...]

Archbishop Demetrios Expresses Concern over Rhetoric to Convert Hagia Sophia into a Mosque

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Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, expressed his grave concern over current rhetoric by some Turkish state officials regarding the intention to convert the historic Hagia Sophia (the magnificent 6th-century Orthodox Christian Cathedral of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople) from a museum to a functioning mosque. Such a step might be interpreted as an expression of … [Read more...]

Hagia Sophia Mosque? Turkish Leaders Call For Conversion Of Istanbul Landmark, Alarming Religious Minorities

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Source: Huffington Post Religion News Service | By Jacob Resneck ISTANBUL (RNS) In this ancient city, there are few sights more iconic than the dome of the Hagia Sophia, towering over the old city for more than 1,400 years. But recent conversions of former Byzantine-era churches from museums into mosques, encouraged by religious and political leaders, have caused alarm among religious minorities and Turkey’s Christian neighbors. “We currently stand next to the Hagia Sophia Mosque,” … [Read more...]

Non-Muslims invited to join Turkey’s police forces

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Source: SETimes.com An exchange between the Assyrian Orthodox Church and the police directorate raised hopes of ending what some describe as discriminatory practices. By Menekse Tokyay for SES Türkiye in Istanbul A recent exchange between the police directorate-general and a leader in the Assyrian Orthodox Church spurred new hope that public sector institutions will openly accept non-Muslims. Although there is no official ruling or policy that prevents non-Muslims from public … [Read more...]