Turkey denies kidnapped Syrian bishops held in Turkey

ANKARA - 12/8/13 The Turkish Foreign Ministry has dismissed the claims that two kidnapped Syrian bishops were held in Turkey. Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos Yaziji and Syriac Orthodox Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim were kidnapped April 22 in Syria by armed men en route from the Turkish border. “These claims are totally unrealistic. It is clear that these claims, which ...

Turkey Increases Security for Orthodox Patriarch

ANKARA - 10/5/13 An official says Turkish authorities have tightened security for the Istanbul-based Orthodox Patriarchate following allegations of a plot to attack the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians. Unconfirmed local media reports said Friday police briefly detained a man following a tip that he planned to assassinate Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. Haberturk newspaper said prosecutors ...

Armenian church in Turkey rings bell for first time in nearly 100 years

DİYARBAKIR / ANKARA - Doğan News Agency - 2/4/13 The Armenian community has rung the bells of Diyarbakır’s Surp Giragos Armenian Church for the first time in 98 years to celebrate the Easter holiday, but failed to hold a proper mass due to a lack of priests to take part, Doğan news ageny reported yesterday. The church ...

Turkish President Gül includes minority leader on Sweden trip

Sevil Küçükkoşum sevil.kucukkosum@hdn.com.tr ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News 9/3/13 In the first ever state visit by a Turkish head of state, President Abdullah Gül will travel to Sweden on March 11, at the invitation of King Carl XVI Gustaf. Patriarchal Vicar of the Syriac Orthodox Church Metropolitan Filiksinos Yusuf Çetin will be the first ever representative of a Turkish minority ...

President Gül meets Syriac Church leader

20/2/13 ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency President Abdullah Gül welcomed Patriarchal Vicar of the Syriac Orthodox Church Mor Filiksinos Yusuf Çetin on Feb. 18 along with an accompanying delegation in Ankara. Sait Susin, president of the Meryem Ana Church Foundation, who was among the delegation, told the Hürriyet Daily News that it was a “positive meeting,” and that ...

Reopening of Greek Orthodox Seminary back on agenda

Halki Orthodox Seminary

27/3/2012 TODAY'S ZAMAN, ANKARA Turkey has decided to reopen a former Greek Orthodox seminary on an island off the coast of İstanbul, according to a statement made by US President Barack Obama. The EU and the US have frequently criticized Turkey for not reopening the Halki Greek Orthodox seminary -- which experts say is related to Turkey's interpretation ...

Armenians ask for equal citizenship in new charter

Acting Armenian Patriarch Aram Ateşyan joins a meeting in Parliament.

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News 14/3/2012 Göksel Bozkurt göksel.bozkurt@hurriyet.com.tr Acting Patriarch Aram Ateşyan, the religious leader of Turkish Armenians, asked for equal citizenship for all the Turkish Republic’s citizens, as well as an “embracing” charter, during an appearance in front of Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission yesterday. Ateşyan issued a call for a definition of “constitutional citizenship” during his presentation. His ...

Turkish government ‘firm’ on solving woes of minorities

Arınç said that the Foundations Council, the highest authority on religious foundations, now includes a non-Muslim member representing minority faiths for the first time.

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency 4/3/2012 Turkey has taken several steps to ensure the rights of the country’s non-Muslim religious minorities after decades of official neglect and mistrust, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said, adding that the government was determined to solve minorities’ problems. [Our goal is] to guarantee that the rule of law is ...

Gov’t gives green light to opening of seminary

Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew (L) shakes hands with former Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Şahin, who is a member of Parliament’s Constitutional Conciliation Commission, before presenting the patriarchate’s proposals for a new charter. AA photo

ISTANBUL/ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News 27/2/2012 Deputy Prime Minster says there is no law in Turkey to ban the opening of a seminary to raise Christian clerics and the government will support such efforts if the demand to have vocational school status is dropped. The government is not opposed to the opening of a seminary to raise Christian ...

Quake cracks dome of ancient Armenian Church in Van

ASLIHAN AYDIN, ANKARA 28/10/2011 The 10th-century Armenian Church of the Holy Cross on Akdamar (Ahtamar) Island in Lake Van has a crack in its dome because of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck the province of Van on Sunday. Officials said their initial observations show that there is no other serious damage to the church but they ...

Another Armenian church to be restored in Turkey (photo)

10/8/2011 ANKARA. - Another Armenian church will be renovated in Turkey, this time in Izmir province. Saint Sargis church will be restored at the expenses of Menemen city hall. City Mayor Tahir Sahin said renovation of Greek Saint Constantine church is over adding that the next to be restored the Armenian church. He stressed that they ...

Cleric slams abuse of women in Turkey

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News 21/7/2011 The mistreatment of women is the result of “excessive ignorance” about Islam, Turkey’s chief cleric said Thursday, following the recent release of consecutive reports on violence against women. “People sometimes try to rationalize their bad behaviors by using religion. This has been the case in almost every culture and religion,” Mehmet Görmez, ...

US Armenians hail passage of ‘return of churches’ Bill

Ümit Enginsoy ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News 21/7/2011 Several U.S. Armenian groups on Thursday welcomed the passage of a “return of churches” measure by a U.S. House of Representatives committee, calling on Turkey to safeguard its Christian heritage. The House Foreign Affairs Committee late Wednesday approved the amendment to the State Department Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year ...

Patriarch blesses Greek diplomat-artist’s Exhibition

ÜMİT ENGİNSOY ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News 3/7/2011 Istanbul’s Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I said late Wednesday that he is the staunchest supporter of peace and rapprochement between Aegean neighbors Turkey and Greece. “I pray for friendship between Turkey and Greece. I am the strongest supporter of their peace and rapprochement,” Bartholomew said. His remarks came at the opening ...