Turkey expects Greek efforts in return for reopening Halki Seminary
The reopening of the Halki Seminary was not included in the Turkish government’s recent democratization package. AA PhotoTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once made reassurances about the government’s resolve to reopen Istanbul’s Greek Orthodox Halki Seminary, while noting the overture was contingent on Greece opening mosques in Athens.
“We will solve the Halki Seminary issue. We have discussed this subject with Greek ministers so often,” Erdoğan said during a live interview on private broadcaster A Haber late Oct. 3. “This is an instant [decision] for us, but we have asked for one thing. There are two mosques in Athens. One of them is the Fethiye Mosque which was demolished. We asked them to let us rebuild it.”
Turkey has also demanded the Greece’s Muslim community elect a new mufti for the 150,000 Muslims living in Western Thrace.
Turkey opened Trabzon’s Sümela Monastery and Akdamar churches for religious ceremonies and expects the same efforts from Greece on mosques, Erdoğan said.
The reopening of the Halki Seminary was not included in the Turkish government’s recent democratization package despite expectations that it would be included.