As reported by “Today’s Zaman,” the Fener Greek Patriarchate has decided to open the doors of the Halki Greek Orthodox Seminary to visitors rather than to students. The move comes after years of unsuccessful attempts by the patriarchate to reopen the Princes’ Islands seminary – closed since 1971 – for religious and educational purposes.
On Tuesday, during an event entitled “Greek Community Meets with Press in Halki Seminary”, patriarchate spokesperson Father Dositheos Anagnostopoulos invited all those interested to visit the seminary.
Following the event, Istanbul Fener Greek Patriarch Secretary Elpidophoros Lambriniadis discussed the challenges the patriarchate has faced in reopening the seminary: “We have been waiting for more than 40 years for the Turkish government to return our rights to us regarding the seminary. So we’ve given up waiting for our demands to be met. We reopened the school to other activities and events rather than [for education]. But still, if the seminary is opened one day, our curriculum is already ready and we will enroll 25-30 students for each year. Each student will speak the Turkish language fluently. Following their education, the graduates will be assigned to their positions with a love in their hearts for Turkey.”
Lambriniadis added that the seminary would be an ideal place to teach foreign students about Islam.
The seminary was founded in 1844. It operated continuously until its closure by the Turkish authorities in 1971 by way of a new law that put religious and military education under control of the state.