Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey visits the Phanar

On Monday, January 3, 2011, His All Holiness met at the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the Hon. Bülent Arınç, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey. Mr. Arınç is also the former House Speaker of the Turkish Parliament (2002-2007). The Deputy Prime Minister held private conversations with the Ecumenical Patriarch, attended a reception with leading representatives of the Greek community and its institutions in Turkey, and addressed the media with the Patriarch.

Among those present were their Eminences Metropolitans Meliton of Philadelphia and Apostolos of Moschonisia, as well as the Very Reverend Chancellor and Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod. The formal representative of the minority communities in Turkey, Mr. P. Vingas, also addressed the Deputy Prime Minister. This is the highest dignitary at the Ministerial level of the Turkish Government to visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the last sixty years.