Turkish government now recognizes us officially, says HH Bartholomew I

The Turkish government now recognizes us officially, says Bartholomew I…The implications of the return to the Patriarchate of the ‘Tapu’ (title deed) are of great significance. “The Turkish government did not appeal against the court’s ruling, starting instead the procedures to return us the orphanage,” Bartholomew said. “I want to stress the tapu by Turkish authorities is issued in the name of our Patriarchate, as Rum Patrikanesi. This means not only the return of the orphanage but also the official recognition of our Patriarchate as a legal person. This is a positive step.”…

Maybe this was posted elsewhere and I missed it.

I guess the better question is, can he has a successor that is not a Turkish Citizen? I saw it on TV (was it 60 mins?) that at the time of the interview, it wasn’t the case.

As far as I know, that legal requirement would still be in place. I don’t know how that can be resolved with a population so small. If there was a large healthy community it wouldn’t be so bad.

Since the Greek-Turkish war in around 1920 most of the Orthodox have left the Turkish state behind and reside elsewhere.

I don’t know if you know, but what is the immigration rules in Turkey like? Can’t they just bring someone in on a work permit or something? NBA player Allen Iverson is living in Turkey now probably on some sort of work permit. Can’t they do something similar?

I believe the Turkish government requires the EP to be a native born Turkish citizen. There has been talk of moving the EP elsewhere but who knows.

Under Turkish law the Patriarch must be born in Turkey. The only places in Turkey where Christianity continues to exist above ground are Istanbul, Antioch, and the few islands they control off the coast. A very limited population, especially when you consider there is no seminary.

Why is there a special rule for the Ecumenical Patriarch? Why can’t they treat it like any other secular job?

Ask the Turks. Its really the way the Turkish government controls the church.

And the clergy from Turkey go elsewhere to seminary. The present EP was educated in Rome.

It does seem unfair. They could at least treat the Orthodox Church the same way they would any other secular organization.

I was going to say that they could secede and declare independence ala-Vatican, but then again how do you get in an out of the country? :rolleyes:

The EP is quite a bit smaller then the Vatican. :slight_smile:

And the Turks have never been know for their fairness!

In 1453 when the city was taken Mehmed II, who had quite an interest in Christianity, proclaimed himself the successor of the Emperor in all things pertaining to the Church, including its protection. While he more or less did this (only the big churches were converted under him), his successors didn’t, although they continued to claim the old Imperial Right to appoint the Patriarch (and depose him, a business which was quite lucrative). Fast forward to the fall of the Empire, the state which replaces it takes over the right, although they delegate most of the functions of selection to the Church, they maintained certain rules such as requiring that he be born in Turkey. That wasn’t a big deal at the time when there were millions of Orthodox Christians who were natural born citizens of Turkey, however now the number is in the thousands, and it is a problem. Hopefully this may be the start of something good, and the Turks may get rid of that requirement (they’ve already eased it, at one point the entire Holy Synod had to be Turkish, however now the Church can appoint whoever it wants to the Synod).

Actually Bartholomew was one of the last to be educated in Turkey. He received his post-graduate degree in Rome, but the seminary he got his undergrad at was Helinki.
Interestingly he did his post-grad degree while Helinki was still open.

What does this mean? Does it refer to his residence, or the See itself? If the See itself, isn’t that the prerogative of an Ecumenical Council, not the EO by themselves?


It refers to his residence.

He has a place prepared in Switzerland and one in NY, just in case. I believe Pope Shanouda of the Coptic Church has a place prepared in Switzerland as well, just in case.

That is indeed still the legal requirement.

That is not exactly correct. He does not have to be born in Turkey, he has to be a Turkish citizen. Last year the government of Turkey offered to grant citizenship to non-Turkish hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Basically they can apply, and if the laws of the country in which they currently hold citizenship allows they can hold dual citizenship. From what I understand a number of them have taken the offer.

In Christ

Thanks for the clarification.


June 7, 2010

Metropolitan Nikitas of Dardanellia, the Director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkley, Calif. traveled to Istanbul to receive his Turkish citizenship. Metropolitan Nikitas (Lulias) is the first – and for the moment only – Orthodox bishop in the United States to have put in an application for Turkish citizenship…

:thumbsup: I think His Eminence has also just returned from Constantinople. The young people had a party last night at PAOI and were planning to have gifts for him. :slight_smile:

I understood that the Ecumenical Patriarchate must have also been educated at Halki Seminary, which the government of Turkey forced to close many decades ago. In 2009 President Obama spoke up about the need to allow Halki to reopen.

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