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...]

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...]