» 07/19/2007, 00.00
Charges against Bartholomew I for calling himself ecumenical patriarch
A desire to influence how Christian minorities will vote is behind the charges filed by a former member of the Bulgarian exarchate. It shows how secular fundamentalism uses Islam.
Istanbul (AsiaNews) – Two weeks after a Turkish court denied the Patriarchate of Constantinople the right to call himself ecumenical, Bartholomew I has come under attack once again by Bujidar Cipof, an ex-Church member of the Bulgarian exarchate of Constantinople which comes under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Cipof has now filed charges against Patriarch Bartholomew, whose ‘crime’ is to have used in his latest speeches—during the successful July 11-15 Second Orthodox Youth Conference—the much deprecated historical expression “Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.”
Many in local diplomatic and media circles believe that behind the tug-of-war started by various ex-members of the Bulgarian exarchate, stand the guardians of the Turkish state who are sending signals to the country’s various Christian minorities, whom they suspect of favouring the party of outgoing Prime Minister Erdogan.
These elements within the Turkish state see themselves as the true protectors of the Kemalist legacy, which has however lost much of the founder’s initial élan, turning instead into a secular form of fundamentalism that has not refrained from using Islam in moments of political tensions, as suggested by David Shankland in his book Islam and Society Turke, (1999).
As much as it may seem strange in Western Europe, Christian minorities have never experienced the degree of tolerance that they have in the last 20 years under the governments of Ozal and Erdogan, both conservative and reformers, this according to a Turkish-born Orthodox prelate living in Berlin. Yet he did acknowledge Turkish education lacks elements from Greco-Roman culture that are useful in preparing a truly European ruling class.
Finally, Baskin Oran, a well-respected scholar and independent candidate in the upcoming elections, in an interview with the newspaper Radikal demolished piece by piece the recent court decision against the patriarch. And it is not without a certain ironic tone that he pointed that he would have never believed that courts in Turkey had become so well-versed in Orthodox ecclesiology, because after all the whole issue essentially revolves around Orthodox religious canons. (NT)
European-style reforms save Erdogan from constitutional court ban
In rejecting the request to dissolve the governing party and exclude its leaders from political life, the court had affirmed in July that the AKP is "the focal point of anti-secular activities," but will not be dissolved because it is promoting the reforms requested by the EU, and those in favor of women and non-Islamic minorities.
Erdoğan ready to respond to charges that he wants to introduce Sharia law
The prime minister’s party is considering a constitutional amendment to limit the powers of the chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals who has file a petition before the Constitutional Court demanding the dissolution of the ruling party for being a religious group.
Constitutional court asked to resolve the AKP question quickly
Even the financial markets reacted negatively in Turkey to the request advanced by the procurator general for the dissolution of Erdogan’s party. Concerns over what is seen as the last act of the fierce war between the "deep state" and the moderate Muslim party.
Abolition of ban on Islamic headscarf under review by constitutional court
The question has captivated public opinion, and the possibility of wearing the headscarf in state universities, promoted by the party of prime minister Erdogan, is also among the "proofs" of the attempt to Islamise the country, according to the accusation made against the AKP by the prosecutor general of the republic.
Bartholomew visits the ruins of Christian sites on the Black sea
The ecumenical patriarch celebrates the liturgy on Mount Sümela, which was a dynamic Christian community until 1923. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan delivers a message on freedom of thought and religion. Bartholomew calls for the return of properties seized from religious minorities.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
29/04/2016 NORTH KOREA- USA
26/04/2016 SYRIA - TURKEY
25/04/2016 HONG KONG - CHINA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.