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Egemen Bağış Supports Halki Seminary Reopening


Turkey is seriously considering reopening The Greek Orthodox Halki Seminary in Istanbul. The EU Minister Egemen Bağış thinks this could also mean that Greece would build a mosque in Athens, as promised.

The Theological School of Halki was founded in 1844 and was active until the Turkish Parliament enacted a law banning private higher education institutions in 1971. It  was the main school of Theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church’s Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

According to Hurriyet, Bağış stated: “The Halki Seminary was closed not by our government, nor by any political party. It was closed by a court order. If some regulations are needed to overcome the court order, I’m calling on [Greece] from Brussels to make the necessary arrangements: Encourage us too, keep your promises.”

On the contrary, the Turkish government did not take the reopening of The Halki Seminary into consideration, a fact for which it received a lot of criticism.

Furthermore, the Turks are concerned with other serious issues. There is no other cemetery in Greece, except for the one in Western Thrace. Mufties are not being recognized, and the word “Turk” is still being used with certain reservations.

Bağış is to visit Greece on October 7-8 to discuss these issues.

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