Turkey ready to open Halki Seminary in return for a mosque in Greece: report
ANKARAPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reportedly expressed Turkey’s readiness to re-open the Halki Seminary in the Adalar district of Istanbul in return for Greece allowing a mosque to function in Thessaloniki.
The statement came from Mustafa Armağan, editor-in-chief of Deep History magazine, who was present at Erdoğan’s lunch with a group of historians and academics on May 7. Although the core issue of the lunch was how to respond to Armenia’s campaign for further recognition of the 1915 killing of Ottoman Armenians as genocide, Armağan said Erdoğan also expressed his views on the Halki Seminary, which has been closed since 1971. Armağan’s statements were reported by the Anadolu Agency.
Erdoğan said they were ready for a swift opening of the Halki Seminary but Greece was not willing to accept the opening of a mosque in Thessaloniki.
The Greek minority in Turkey have been expecting the re-opening of the Greek Orthodox school on Adalar’s Heybeliada since it was closed by Turkey in 1971.
Metin Külünk, a senior figure from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), differed from Erdoğan, as he said the seminary will not be re-opened until the Fethiye Mosque in Athens is opened for prayers, and not a mosque in Thessaloniki.