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Thread: Patriarch Bartholomew in CBS: We are treated as second class citizens in Turkey

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    Patriarch Bartholomew in CBS: We are treated as second class citizens in Turkey



    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the leader of the 300 million-member Orthodox Christian Church, feels "crucified" living in Turkey under a government he says would like to see his nearly 2,000-year-old Patriarchate die out.

    Since then, history has seen the Patriarch and the part of his church in Turkey - who are Turkish citizens of Greek ancestry - discriminated against in their traditional homeland inside what has become modern Turkey, where 99 percent of the people are Muslim. One and a half million were expelled in 1923 and another 150,000 left after violent anti-Christian riots in Istanbul in 1955. A population once numbering near two million is now around 4,000.

    "It is not [a]crime?to be a minority living in Turkey but we are treated as?second class," Bartholomew tells Simon. "We don't feel that we enjoy our full rights as Turkish citizens."

    Turkish authorities closed churches, monasteries and schools, including its only orthodox Seminary, the Halki School of Theology. According to Turkish law the only potential successors to Bartholomew must be Turkish born and trained at the Halki. "[The Turkish government] would be happy to see the Patriarchate extinguished or moving abroad, but our belief is that it will never happen," says Bartholomew.
    ...
    Bartholomew finds the letter ironic. "I have visited the prime minister, many ministers, submitting our problems?asking to help us," he tells Simon. But no help has come his way from the Turkish government, which prides itself on being secular and fears any special treatment for Orthodox Christians could lead to inroads by other religions, especially Islam.

    The Patriach is determined to hold his ground. "This is the continuation of Jerusalem and for us an equally holy and sacred land. We prefer to stay here, even crucified sometimes," says Bartholomew. Asked by Simon if he feels crucified, His All Holiness replies, "Yes, I do."
    The full article is here along with the interview video.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n5990390.shtml

    I'm wondering, is Turkey ruled by laws or by Islamic beliefs? Is that the same country that wants to become an EU member? Personally, and I assume all European citizens feel the same, I only want democratic countries in EU and not pseudo democracies ruled by religious laws and the army.

    Not reopening the Halki School is a violation of Lausanne Treaty and Turkish government is doing nothing about it. On the contrary it seems like they are trying for the opposite...

    From what I know, when you ask for something, (be it a favor, money, a place in the EU, etc) you have to give something in advance. The problem is I don't see Turkey wanting to "give" anything. On the contrary their government doesn't even try to resolve now, matters that should have been resolved in the past anyway, before any EU membership application... EU should be asking for more now from Turkey if they want a place in EU, (which, in my opinion, they don't really qualify for since they are not Europe) and not struggling to make them do what is self-explanatory and should have been done many years ago.

    In Greece we say: if you let the bully in your front yard he will be on your bed the next day raping your wife. Similar with what the English would say: To give an inch and take a mile, which is what Turkey is doing right now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marianne View Post
    The full article is here along with the interview video.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n5990390.shtml

    I'm wondering, is Turkey ruled by laws or by Islamic beliefs? Is that the same country that wants to become an EU member? Personally, and I assume all European citizens feel the same, I only want democratic countries in EU and not pseudo democracies ruled by religious laws and the army.

    Not reopening the Halki School is a violation of Lausanne Treaty and Turkish government is doing nothing about it. On the contrary it seems like they are trying for the opposite...

    From what I know, when you ask for something, (be it a favor, money, a place in the EU, etc) you have to give something in advance. The problem is I don't see Turkey wanting to "give" anything. On the contrary their government doesn't even try to resolve now, matters that should have been resolved in the past anyway, before any EU membership application... EU should be asking for more now from Turkey if they want a place in EU, (which, in my opinion, they don't really qualify for since they are not Europe) and not struggling to make them do what is self-explanatory and should have been done many years ago.

    In Greece we say: if you let the bully in your front yard he will be on your bed the next day raping your wife. Similar with what the English would say: To give an inch and take a mile, which is what Turkey is doing right now...
    Turkey is not European in the least and has no business in the E.U.

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    I agree with Cambria Red

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    I agree with you Marianne, but I think EU is not asking for more because they don't want Turkey in the EU anyway...
    Personally, I welcome Turkey in the EU, I don't agree with people who say things like "Turkey is an old enemy of Europe" because these arguments are not logical. I believe it would change many of the problems that our country has with Turkey... BUT I welcome them ONLY if they SOLVE this kind of problems.
    It's up to them to be allies or enemies with Europe...

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    The claim that Turkey is an old enemy of Europe is not really used anymore because as you say it is not a valid argument. What is done is done.

    The problem is not the history but the current state of their country. I do not welcome any nation whose people believe it is alright to bury their daughters alive because they talk to boys! Their laws and culture are not western and therefore they do not belong in Europe.

    If you have been in France or Germany you will realize that the majority of Muslims do not integrate with the Wester society. They create ghettos and cause problems. They do not want to become Westerns so why should we accept them in EU?

    EU should consider some alternative title for Turkey, something like "Friends of EU" or "Allies of EU" and not member state.

    As you said they need to solve many many problems before they get accepted. The problem is they don't even try. If they don't try why should we "beg" them and insist? If they are not willing to change things why do they ask again and again?

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    Turkey should be given back to Greece. The Turks can go back to Kazakhstan and take their Islam with them.

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