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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Turkey and Halki

The issue of the reopening of the Orthodox seminary on Halki, off Istanbul, “will be resolved within the framework of the constitution and the law,” Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday after Turkey’s Justice Minister Huseyin Celik remarked that “it is wrong for (the seminary) to stay closed.” Greece’s government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos was cool in his response, noting that reopening the seminary “is Turkey’s obligation, as set out in the road map (for eventual EU accession).” [source]

Reopening the seminary not only should be a condition for EU acceptance, but also should be done before further discussion is made into whether or not the EU will grant Turkey admission. The problem with assuming that entry into the EU will cause Turkey to become more religiously tolerant is that once Turkey is admitted, there is no longer any need for Turkey to change. However, I also wonder if for the future of the Orthodox Church in Constantinople, it is already too late.


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