Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Address Turkish Parliament

Stella Tsolakidou

Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will address the Turkish Parliament on February 20, presenting the problems of Turkey’s minorities for the first time since the creation of the Turkish Republic.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch will discuss the minorities’ views on the new Turkish constitution, while he will also refer to matters such as the reopening of the Theological School of Halki and other minority theological colleges, the employment of minorities in top state offices, the educational services provided to non-Muslim communities and the removal of hate-provoking and discriminating statements about Greeks, Armenian and Syriac Christians from Turkish class books.

Non-Muslim groups, including the Greek, Armenian, Jewish and Assyrian communities have prepared proposals for the new constitution, according to Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman.