Reopening of Greek Orthodox Seminary back on agenda

Turkey has decided to reopen a former Greek Orthodox seminary on an island off the coast of İstanbul, according to a statement made by US President Barack Obama.

The EU and the US have frequently criticized Turkey for not reopening the Halki Greek Orthodox seminary — which experts say is related to Turkey’s interpretation of secularism — and failing to take measures to protect the patriarchate’s property rights. The patriarchate is under the protection of international law, as outlined in the Treaty of Lausanne. The patriarch has long complained about the status of the seminary, located on the island of Heybeliada near İstanbul, as well as other property issues. The government says it has been assessing a number of legal options to reopen the Halki seminary, which Bartholomew says is of vital importance for the survival of the Greek Orthodox clergy.

During a meeting with former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on March 22 in İstanbul, Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew praised Turkish plans to reopen the seminary, according to media reports.

“We [the Turkish Orthodox community] can be hopeful for the reopening of the seminary in the near future,” stated Bartholomew.

Source: Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE -Media Network