MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2001 - The Turkish government must
show respect for international treaties and its Orthodox
Christian minority's human rights and allow the country's
only Orthodox seminary to reopen, Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomeos told worshipers yesterday on a little island
of Istanbul. The patriarch said that state permission
for the Halki Seminary - founded in 1844 but closed
down in 1971 by the Turkish government - to function
would be "a victory of reason and justice over
what is irrational and unjust."
at the opening of the Church of the Holy Trinity within
the seminary grounds, Bartholomeos said Ankara could
not maintain for much longer its refusal to reopen the
seminary. As patriarchs must be Turkish citizens, the
only seminary in the country is crucial to their education.
will the Turkish government reply to the rulers of civilized
countries when they ask why Christian citizens, as opposed
to Muslims, lack the possibility to have their religious
functionaries educated?" he said. "What about
minority rights, and the Lausanne Treaty that guarantees
IHT-KATHIMERINI English Edition.