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    » 11/17/2007, 00.00

    TURKEY

    Halki’s Chapel of the Transfiguration left in ruins



    Forest guards began demolition work on the chapel without warning, Only the immediate protest of the prior of Haliki and Metropolitan Meliton avoided its total destruction. A Church in Kadikoy, ancient Calcedonia is also targeted by vandals.

    Istanbul (AsiaNews) –A XVII century chapel dedicated to Our Lord’s Transfiguration, which lies in front of the Haliki School of Theology, was almost completely destroyed yesterday by Forest Guards.  The Church had been recently restored with the permission of local authorities.  Demolishers had begun tearing down the building without any prior warning, which is called for in such cases.

    Only at the last minute was the total destruction of the chapel avoided: following protests by the prior of  Haliki School and Metropolitan Meliton, director of the Ecumenical Patriarchates office for legal affairs, the prefect of the Prince Islands stopped the Forest Guards. The building however was seriously damaged.

    The Prior of Halki immediately brought to the attention of the Turkish authorities that these kinds of episodes will provoke international disapproval, including that of the European Union.  The Authorities response was stark: “Don’t dare to threaten us!”.

    Shortly afterwards an “unknown” group smashed the windows of  Holy Trinity Church in Kadikoy, ancient Calcedonia.

    Diplomatic and journalistic circles mummer that cases such as these are on the increase and are not casual either: they are part of a strategy adopted by powers in Turkey who are against the nations process of integration in the European Union and are testing the Governments will to protect religious minorities.(NT)

     

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    See also

    10/07/2008 TURKEY - EU
    Court of Strasbourg recognises legal status of ecumenical patriarchate and condemns Turkey
    The verdict condemns the Turkish state for improperly taking over the orphanage of Buyukada, on the Marmara Sea. In its ruling is also extremely important for religious minorities on Turkish soil.

    01/08/2007 TURKEY
    Plot against the ecumenical Patriarch foiled
    The Istanbul public attorney’s office is investigating a group of ex army officers who seem to have plotted to eliminate Bartholomew I as well as Mesrob of the Armenians. The Turkish Supreme Court ruling contesting the ecumenical title of the Patriarchate is discussed in Brussels and finds an unlikely ally in the Church of Moscow.

    23/07/2009 TURKEY
    Despite Europe's request, Ankara continues to waver on Religious Freedom
    The head of EU enlargement has said that the accession process of Turkey also depends on the Halki school, an institution for the formation of the clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, closed since 1971. The government remains silent, while the debate grows in the media. The real issue is the recognition of the status of the Patriarchate.

    08/01/2008 TURKEY
    Bartholomew celebrates the rite of the blessing of the waters in the Golden Horn
    A discreet but heavy police presence to avoid a repetition of provocation by the Grey Wolves. Greetings to AsiaNews and the announcement of a meeting with Benedict XVI in Rome, this March.

    21/01/2013 TURKEY
    Ankara returns land confiscated from Halki Theological School
    A large wooded area confiscated during the Second World War. It is the largest amount of land to be returned after the government's decision to restore property to non-Muslim foundations. The decision praised in the last article by Turkish journalist Mehmet Ali Birant, who died a few days ago. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I attended his funeral.



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