Greek and Turkish musicians give historic concert at Halki

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Source: Hurriyet Daily News ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News Halki Greek Orthodox Seminary becomes the stage for Greek and Turkish musicians amid growing expectations over the school’s opening as part of the much-awaited democratization package Vercihan Ziflioğlu (vercihan.ziflioglu@hurriyet.com.tr) The Halki Greek Orthodox Seminary symbolically opened its doors for a historic concert on Istanbul’s Heybeliada Island on Sept. 22. The concert, titled “A Cultural Trip from Greece to … [Read more...]

Orthodox church in Izmir faces demolition

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Source: Ekathimerini Plans for a new highway threaten Profitis Ilias By Dimitris Rigopoulos Plans for a new highway are threatening one of the last surviving Greek Orthodox churches in the region of Izmir (Smyrna) in Turkey. Profitis Ilias (named after the Prophet Elias/Elijah, a revered figure for both Christians and Muslims) is a three-aisled basilica commissioned in 1846 by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Anthimus VI. Its dimensions are 10 by 19 meters and it has a … [Read more...]

Turkey government desecrates the Church of Agia Sophia [UPDATED]

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Source: NeosKosmos.com This is the second time in recent years that the Turkish government has converted a unique Christian church into a mosque The Federation of Pontian Associations of Australia has called upon the Australian government and the international community to protect Anatolia's indigenous Christian heritage. The announcement follows an incident two weeks ago where Muslim prayers were held in the 13th century Orthodox Church of the Holy Wisdom (Agia Sophia) in Istanbul, … [Read more...]

State senators [Illinois] may take a stand on Turkey’s treatment of Orthodox

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Source: Chicago Tribune By Mitch Smith, Chicago Tribune reporter May 13, 2013 Springfield is a long way from Istanbul — 5,660 miles, in fact — but Illinois state senators are considering a resolution that would criticize Turkey's treatment of the Eastern Orthodox religious hierarchy. Even though a majority of senators have co-sponsored the nonbinding measure, it may not make it to a vote. Orthodox Christians say their leader, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, has … [Read more...]

The Politics of Human Rights: Orthodox Christianity Gets the Short End

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Source: Order of St. Andrew the Apostle - Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate by Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou [Washington, D.C. - 5/5/2013] Today is Easter for the world’s 350 million Orthodox Christians, who just completed their Holy Week of prayer and fasting  which culminated in today’s message of transcendent hope.  But all last week and today, Orthodox Christians the world over have been reminded that politics trumps human rights.  There’s a cruel irony in the fact that Orthodox … [Read more...]

Syriac Orthodox Christians in Turkey – ”This Is Simply Our Home”

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Source: Qantara.de In recent years, around 60-100 Syriac Orthodox families have returned from central Europe to Turkey. Encouraged by changes in the political atmosphere, the minority nonetheless faces a host of problems, from the expropriation of land belonging to a monastery, to a ban on special schools and kindergartens, and also a lack of places of worship in Istanbul. By Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere A sign in Aramaic at the side of the road defiantly bids visitors "Welcome to Kafro" next to … [Read more...]

190 Hectares of Forest Given Back to Halki Seminary

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Source: The National Herald CONSTANTINOPLE (From the website of Today's Zaman) - Following a meeting held on Friday, the Council of Foundations -- part of Turkey's Directorate General for Foundations (VGM) -- returned 190 hectares of forest to the Greek Orthodox Halki (Heybeliada) Seminary in Istanbul. According to the decision, 190 hectares of woodlands near the Halki Seminary will be given to the seminary's owner, the Aya Triada Monastery Foundation. This is the biggest property return … [Read more...]

Orthodox Church In Istanbul Will Be Rebuilt

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Source: Greek Reporter Europe By Nicky Mariam Onti The municipal council of Istanbul has decided to give the permission to rebuild the St. Stefanos (Yeşilköy) Church, the first time the Turkish Republic has allowed an Orthodox religious institution to be renovated. The church is under the aegis of the Arab-Orthodox community which had asked many times for their own place for prayer. According to the Turkish newspaper STAR, the temple’s rebuilding can be initiated after taking the … [Read more...]

Turkey strongly condemns Jerusalem church vandalism

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Source: Trend Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Turkey is closely monitoring increasing attacks of Israeli extremists against sacred sites of Muslims and Christians. Vandals damaged the door of St. George Romanian Orthodox church and tossed garbage at its entrance. A tiny fringe group of pro-settler extremists are suspected in the vandalism. They have conducted similar attacks on churches, mosques and Israeli army property. The statement said Turkey strongly condemns any … [Read more...]

Bell Tower of Armenian Church in Turkey Back After 97 Years

Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakır, Turkey

Source: PanARMENIAN.Net The bell-tower of Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakır, Turkey, is set to return to use after a 97-year interval, with a new bell made in Russia, Hurriyet Daily News reported. As part of repair and restoration work at the Surp Giragos Church a new bell was made in Moscow, and has been delivered to Diyarbakır. The bronze bell weighs 100 kilograms, and will ring from the bell-tower beginning at its reopening ceremony on November 4. The church’s bell-tower … [Read more...]