Another Bit On Turkey and Islam

Annie

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Rarely is Islam in a hurry to convert, since the coffers are filled by the taxes of the infidels. Over time though, after those that can seek refuge elsewhere and the weak that are left behind, escape taxes by conversion, the country becomes truly Islamic, long after it's considered so:

http://www.popeandpatriarch.com/?q=node/75

The dogs of Constantinople.
Submitted by Joshua Treviño on 27 November 2006 - 9:40pm.

At night, the Hagia Sophia is invested by wild dogs. You walk about the expanse between it and the Blue Mosque, and you pull your coat tight against the early winter chill. The dogs are everywhere. They are in the streets, lolling contentedly as the odd taksi veers about. They are on the concrete, rummaging through strewn trash. They are on the grass, rooting about in the flowers, and gnawing upon disgusting chunks of rancid flesh. They ignore you. One of them barks, and at once they are all on their feet and yelping. They lope toward a solitary taksi driver who performs a small charity of sharing some meat.

Overlooking it all is the Hagia Sophia, red stone capped with black metal, topped with the golden crescent of its conquerer. It is massive. Chronicles of the Dark Ages and the Medieval era tell of Western travelers seeing the Queen City for the first time, and being stupefied at its grand church. And so I am, as Sunday slides into Monday in the dead of a Constantinopolitan night. The hulking form overpowers the grace and grandeur of the Blue Mosque, a park's length away. The great mosque apes the great church, except it is white instead of red, its minarets are native instead of alien, and its believers are thriving instead of dying.

The Christians of the Queen City are dying. The Ecumenical Patriarch housed in the Fener district used to be ecumenical -- an Orthodox Christian, to be sure, but of no particular nation. No longer. Because the Patriarchs of old lived with the Emperors in their very city, they grew accustomed to the strictures of state power -- unlike the Popes, who exercised temporal monarchy of their own. The Sultans of the Ottoman Empire saw fit to continue the relationship, reaping handsome profits from bribe-profferring claimants to the Patriarchate, and forcing the occupant of the seat of St Andrew to answer for their co-religionists. Usually this entailed a conferral of a limited intra-communal civil power upon the Patriarch; but in the Greek War of Independence, the Patriarch was lynched for his rebellious millet's temerity. As with the Sultans, so with their successors: the Turkish state continues to dictate the terms of existence for a Patriarchate that predates the mere existence of Turks in Turkey by at least seven hundred years.

The trauma of the decline of the Ottoman state, and the need during the Turkish War of Independence to fight off non-Turkish claimants (though not always foreign claimants) to Anatolia and Thrace, left the Turkish polity with an undying fear of territorial dispossession. There is a strong concept of Turkishness as inherently involving Islam; and hence non-Muslim institutions like the Patriarchate are inherently suspect. They are not "Turkish" (except in a legal sense with no claim on the sentiment of the masses or the state) but they are on Turkish soil. There is no way to Islamicize the Patriarchate, of course, but one may restrict the office to men of Turkish citizenship. And so the Kemalist state has done precisely this.

There was a time not so long ago when this would not have been an insuperable challenge. If we consider Byzantium to be historically contiguous with the imperial city, Constantinople was Greek for almost two thousand years before the Turkish conquest -- and Christian for nearly eleven hundred of those years. After the fall in 1453, it remained majority-Christian for a few centuries thereafter, and then it harbored a sizable Christian minority (mostly Greek and Armenian) through the early 20th century. That came to an end when Constantinople became Istanbul in the Kemalist era. The 1923 "population transfer" on the heels of the Greek loss in its tragic war of the megali idea wiped out the Greek communities -- and hence the Christian communities -- of Ionia, the Pontus, and inland Anatolia. Constantinople's Greeks were spared from annihilation, but their ranks thinned out of fear and harassment in the new order. Subsequent pogroms, notably the Turkish government-sponsored 1955 pogroms, had the effect of progressively reducing the numbers of native-born Constantinopolitan Christians. Concurrent with this, the Turkish state pursued an active program of expropriation which itself abetted a vicious circle: if a church property fell into disuse, the state seized it; and with the state defining "disuse," the seizures often enough had the effect of denying the remaining Christians the very pillars of their communal life, which in turn provoked more Christians into leaving, which deprived more properties of their parishioners, etc. (A prime example of this policy of seizure and closure is the theological school at Halki, which I visited today and will write about shortly.)

Today, there are approximately two thousand native-born Christians, almost entirely Greek, in the Queen City of Christendom. They are mostly old, mostly die-hards, and mostly clerics. As the Turkish state intended all along, the faith is nearly extinct in one of its most ancient lands -- and the time will come when no native-born Christian "Turk" will be competent to sit upon the Patriarchal throne. And what then? Will the Ecumenical Patriarchate simply die a quiet death after long centuries? Will its demise be met like so many other tragedies of Christendom, with small regret and apathy? Will the Turkish state be a better, more Turkish state without its Christians?

At some point in the cold night, the dogs retreat to warm recesses in the alleys and corners of Sultanahmet. For a short while, the old center of Constantinople is as empty and lifeless as its Christian caste. In the early morning, the muzzein's cries fill our hotel room. But we open the curtains, and there is the Great Church, silent, solid, enduring -- and waiting.
 

ekrem

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Nice source Kathianne, really objective.
There is no doubt, that behind this source are Greeks.

Now to the facts:

1.Greece and Turkey had an civilian exchange programm in beginning of last century.
Except Turks of Greece in Thrace and Turkish Greeks on Westcoast of Turkey there was a mutual exchange.
So i do not get the point of claiming, that for example in Pontus (Black Sea) there are no Greeks left. It is the same when i claim why there are no Turks even more in Thesaloniki or Piräus or Athens.
Because there was a population exchange except Westcoast of Turkey and Thrace of Greece.

2. The 1955 progroms in Istanbul were really tragic, but an answer to Greeks in Greece which set the house in which Ataturk was born in Thessaloniki in fire. That house was and still is a Museum in Thesaloniki / Greece.

3. The disappropriate of Greek churches has to been viewed parallel to what Greece is doing in Thrace to Turkish minority. In Lausanne Treaty both Turkey and Greece agreed to give Greeks of Istanbul and Turks of Thrace special rights.
Both countries because of political problems with each other do not meet the rights according to the Lausanne Treaty.
Greek Christians as well as Turkish Thraceans are tolls of diplomacy which both countries use.

Human Rights Watch:
Destroying ethnic identity - The Turks of Greece
http://www.hrw.org/reports/pdfs/g/greece/greece908.pdf

Of course your Greek source does not mention these. And it also mentions not that Turks of Thrace are not allowed to choose their Muslim religious authority itself or educate their children in Turkish as it is stated in Lausanne treaty.
When Miltary Junta became government in Greece the Regime practiced to choose all Functionaries of Foundations by Military Government.
In 1974 when Military Junta was overthrown all foundations could choose their Leaders again.
Except Turkish Foundations. For 38 years this is still valid.
The Money and funds of Thracean Foundations were so confiscated by Greece as Greece appoints Leaders to Turkish foundations. Foundations which operate money, schools, cultural activity of Turkish minority.
Turkish minoritiy in Thrace is forbidden to build new mosques there. Renovation of existing mosques is also forbidden.
Even postal service is not made to Turkish houses but made in blue collecting points.

The oppressions that the Western Thrace Turks are subjected to are essentially based on not using the word "Turkish." Unity, social solidarity and cultural basis are subjected to constant efforts at their destruction, and Turkish people are being forced to migrate to Turkey and other countries. Especially in accordance with Article 19 of the Citizenship Act, which remained in force until 1988, the citizenship of the majority of the ethnic minorities of non-Greek origin was annulled. This accounts for 60,000 Western Thrace Turks. If this action had not taken place, today there would have been around 350,000 Turkish people living in Thrace.

Lausanne made inapplicable

Moreover, in accordance with a law which entered into force in 1990, Turkish people are denied the right to elect their own religious leaders. The construction of new mosques is no longer allowed, the restoration of the old ones is prevented and Greek officials are appointed to some posts like mufti, which actually require officials of Turkish origin. The administration of the Turkish associations which are under the guarantee of the Treaty of Lausanne has started to be granted to Greek officials, contrary to the treaty's disposition. One of the most important injustices was that Turkish people are not given permission for the further development of Turkish schools and that the Turkish children's and community's educational rights are kept on hold. While property rights are granted to foreigners in Turkey, the Western Thrace Turks who are Greek citizens have for years been denied the ownership of immovable properties. Whenever this right is allowed, it is always under the condition of special permissions which are extremely hard to get. Today in Western Thrace there exist no Turkish pharmacies, nor are Turkish people given permission to open pharmacies. The Turks who managed to enter the Greek Parliament together with Sadik Ahmet and Ahmet Faikoglu had to surmount a nationwide election threshold of 3 percent and in order to be eligible - as the threshold requires - regions having a population up to 150,000 have to receive 200,000 votes. In addition, Turkish people are always subjected to restrictions in terms of police surveillance, oppression and right of expression and other freedoms. Turkish people cannot work at public institutions. The right to serve as reserve officer during military service, which is granted to all university graduates regardless of their ethnic origins in Turkey, is not given to Turks in Greece. Furthermore, as the system dictates, Turks in Greece are expected to complete their military service under the hardest conditions without being in possession of firearms. The associations founded by some of our Turkish citizens as "the Turkish Teachers' Union" or "Iskece (Ksanthi) Turkish Union Association" are banned from using the word "Turkish." Those who insist are incarcerated and lose their properties. Their citizenship is annulled.

Greece aims at detaching Turks from their national identity by applying systematic campaigns of education and assimilation. Turkish people, whose economic freedoms are also limited in parallel to their underprivileged situation, are becoming more impoverished every day. They can engage only in farming as a way of earning their lives.

Of hundreds of Turkmen villages around Thessalonica, none of them exist today. This could be explained by the fact that Greeks pursued a policy of genocide in the 1910s towards the Turks in Greece, which was an action in fact that greatly resembles the genocide of Muslim Bosnians by Serbs in 1992-1995.
http://www.thenewanatolian.com/opinion-1183.html


Greeks and Orthodox Patriarchate in Turkey are no Christianity-Turkey issue, but a Greece-Turkey issue. So make no propaganda of it and look to the whole picture.
 

ekrem

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Human rights watch

Destroying Ethnic Identity - The Turks of Thrace
http://www.hrw.org/reports/pdfs/g/greece/greece908.pdf


Turkey appoints all Patriachs. This is handled so since Fatih Sultan Mehmet II. The Conqueror.
Before modern-day Turkey existed Patriarch was allowed to teach its own priests in Kalki (Istanbul Island).
But Turkey is secular and Turkish state controls Religion.

We offer Patriach to establish a Orthodox priest seminary in Istanbul University.
There would be established a Orthodox Theological Faculity in Turkish State run University.
If Patriarch wants to exist in future Patriarch must follow this proposal, as Turkey will not allow Patriarch itself to teach its priests.
Those priests of one of them Turkey chooses the next Patriarch.

If Patriarch wants to teach its own priests, then this would be a special right which for example Muslims in Turkey do not have.
If Patriarch teaches its own priests, then maybe some Muslims in Turkey want to teach their own Imams, too.
So this would be uncontrollable for Turkey and might open way for radicalism as Imams would not be anymore state-officials and could be influenced and financed by radical Islamic states such as Saudi-Arabia.
Today all of 80.000 mosques are State-owned mosques with personal that are state-officials and taught by Turkish state.

To continue this way Patriarch must let its priests taught by Orthodox faculty to be established in state-run Istanbul university.
If Patriach still does not accept this proposal, Patriarchate will die out in 1-2 generations as there are no priests Turkey can appoint to successor Bartholomeus.
 

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Seems to me the Turks ought to get out of Greece and the Greeks have already been kicked out of Turkey. Turkey's on the verge of going over to an Islamic state. Should that occur they should promptly be booted out of NATO with a firm quick kick to the ass. Sorry Canavar but I've had my gutfull of Islam and it's inability to get along with any other culture. This American thinks it's time to talk turkey with Turkey (American colloquillism, you wouldn't understand). The US needs to talk straight with the Turks. We won't/can't continue a military alliance with Turkey if it is an Islamic state, period.
 

ekrem

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Seems to me the Turks ought to get out of Greece and the Greeks have already been kicked out of Turkey. Turkey's on the verge of going over to an Islamic state. Should that occur they should promptly be booted out of NATO with a firm quick kick to the ass. Sorry Canavar but I've had my gutfull of Islam and it's inability to get along with any other culture. This American thinks it's time to talk turkey with Turkey (American colloquillism, you wouldn't understand). The US needs to talk straight with the Turks. We won't/can't continue a military alliance with Turkey if it is an Islamic state, period.
Please show us Islamic-motivated laws which went through parliament the last years.
Let us talk on base of facts and not talk turkey with Turkey :bye1:
 

ekrem

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Turkish parliament passes minority foundations property law

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/11/09/europe/EU_GEN_Turkey_Minority_Foundations.php


The law would allow foundations to reacquire confiscated properties, but it was not clear if they would be allowed to reclaim property that has since been sold to other people.

It also allows foundation to reclaim properties registered under the names of saints. A committee will be established to decide which properties should be returned. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer must approve the reform before it takes effect.

Turkey's reluctance to concede to demands of non-Muslim minorities stems from a deep mistrust many here feel toward Greece, Turkey's historical regional rival.

Turkey seized some properties owned by minority foundations in 1974 following years of ethnic clashes in Cyprus which led to the invasion of the island by Turkey following an abortive coup by supporters of union with Greece the same year.

At the time, a Turkish court ruled that the foundations had no right to acquire property that they had not declared in 1936 when they were asked to specify their sources of income.
 

ekrem

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Non-Muslim places of worship to be repaired
to renovate 750 buildings considered to be significant in terms of heritage
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=39088

Churches, synagogue to be renovated
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=39132

Modern Turkey's first new church opens in Istanbul
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=53125

Restoration of historic church
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=20444

Actually the pope collected plus points and sympathy on the first day of his visit.
When Pope Benedict was Cardinal Ratzinger he made a lot of Anti-Turkish statements regarding EU. Being Pope and representer of a greater audience he now talks the other way and it seems he searches dialogue with Turkey.
Visiting Ataturk Mausoleum and bound there was also a plus-point.

The issue with the Patriarchate is all about ecumenical or not. According to Lausanne treaty it is not.
And Patriarchate will no matter what do not become a second Vatican on Turkish secular territory, acting independent and a state within the state.
This only serves Megalo Idea of Greek 3rd Article in constitution.
Lausanne Treaty is here precise of what status Patriachate has.
Even when Patriarchate becomes 2nd vatican and a state within state in Turkey, then maybe someone wants to buy the Caliphate-Flag from Bilkent University and wants to re-establish the Caliphate in Istanbul also acting as a state within state.
Religion in Turkey is under one condition: Under the control of Turkish state.
Secularism is understood in Turkey as the domination of the state over all religious institutions and practices and definition highness of Religion.
This will not change and Islam is practiced this way in Turkey.
Under this context the Caliphate was also abolished by Ataturk and Islam became a nonindependent element in Turkey .
And Christian Institutions in Turkey are in no exception of this practice. Off course Turkey will not interpret and define Orthodox Christianity as it does with Islam, but Orthodoxy has to be tied to Turkish Institutions and teachings of Orthodox priests has to be done in State-University faculties, as it is done with Muslim Imams.
This is the way out of State discrimination combined with improving situation of Thracean Turks in Greece, as Greeks in Turkey and Turks in Greece are one inseparable element since the beginning of the problems.

No one can expect Turkey solve Orthodox issue and Muslim issue in Thrace is not solved. Both have to be done parallel.
 

ekrem

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The Pope waveing the Turkish flag, saying he loves Turks


Tomorrow he will visit Aya Sofya and Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
 

Gunny

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Nice source Kathianne, really objective.
There is no doubt, that behind this source are Greeks.

Now to the facts:

1.Greece and Turkey had an civilian exchange programm in beginning of last century.
Except Turks of Greece in Thrace and Turkish Greeks on Westcoast of Turkey there was a mutual exchange.
So i do not get the point of claiming, that for example in Pontus (Black Sea) there are no Greeks left. It is the same when i claim why there are no Turks even more in Thesaloniki or Piräus or Athens.
Because there was a population exchange except Westcoast of Turkey and Thrace of Greece.

2. The 1955 progroms in Istanbul were really tragic, but an answer to Greeks in Greece which set the house in which Ataturk was born in Thessaloniki in fire. That house was and still is a Museum in Thesaloniki / Greece.

3. The disappropriate of Greek churches has to been viewed parallel to what Greece is doing in Thrace to Turkish minority. In Lausanne Treaty both Turkey and Greece agreed to give Greeks of Istanbul and Turks of Thrace special rights.
Both countries because of political problems with each other do not meet the rights according to the Lausanne Treaty.
Greek Christians as well as Turkish Thraceans are tolls of diplomacy which both countries use.

Human Rights Watch:
Destroying ethnic identity - The Turks of Greece
http://www.hrw.org/reports/pdfs/g/greece/greece908.pdf

Of course your Greek source does not mention these. And it also mentions not that Turks of Thrace are not allowed to choose their Muslim religious authority itself or educate their children in Turkish as it is stated in Lausanne treaty.
When Miltary Junta became government in Greece the Regime practiced to choose all Functionaries of Foundations by Military Government.
In 1974 when Military Junta was overthrown all foundations could choose their Leaders again.
Except Turkish Foundations. For 38 years this is still valid.
The Money and funds of Thracean Foundations were so confiscated by Greece as Greece appoints Leaders to Turkish foundations. Foundations which operate money, schools, cultural activity of Turkish minority.
Turkish minoritiy in Thrace is forbidden to build new mosques there. Renovation of existing mosques is also forbidden.
Even postal service is not made to Turkish houses but made in blue collecting points.


http://www.thenewanatolian.com/opinion-1183.html


Greeks and Orthodox Patriarchate in Turkey are no Christianity-Turkey issue, but a Greece-Turkey issue. So make no propaganda of it and look to the whole picture.
Now your roots are showing. If all else fails, blame the Greeks.
 
OP
Annie

Annie

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I never talked negative about Jews. So watch your words.
I do. It was about the 'excuses' and not just you.

What's the difference between your blaming the Greeks and 'Islam' blaming the Jews? Or Hitler blaming the Jews? Or the Romans blaming the Christians?
 

ekrem

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I do. It was about the 'excuses' and not just you.

What's the difference between your blaming the Greeks and 'Islam' blaming the Jews? Or Hitler blaming the Jews? Or the Romans blaming the Christians?
I and Turkey can nothing do and are not responsible for what parts of Arab world think about Jews, Hitler thiks about Jews or what Romans thought about Christians.
 
OP
Annie

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I and Turkey can nothing do and are not responsible for what parts of Arab world think about Jews, Hitler thiks about Jews or what Romans thought about Christians.
And you are just in line for blaming the Greeks and the Greeks blaming the Turks, etc., etc., etc.
 

ekrem

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Pope visit eclipses image of anti-Turk Islamophobe

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The picture of the week in Turkey, splashed across the front pages of most newspapers on Thursday, shows a smiling Pope Benedict waving a large Turkish flag as if he were a football fan cheering on his team.

With friendly gestures and well-timed political remarks, Benedict has shaken off his reputation here as an anti-Turkish Islamophobe and eased the tensions caused by a controversial speech he gave in September.

Scepticism may be the dominant reaction in the wider Muslim world, but it was no small victory that the German-born Pope was able to calm Turkish anger over that speech in Regensburg.

"He was still Cardinal Ratzinger before he came to Turkey, but now he has become Pope Benedict," said Cemal Usak, secretary general of the Istanbul-based Intercultural Dialogue Platform.

"He said Islam is a religion of peace. He can't go back to the Regensburg atmosphere."

Before becoming Pope last year, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke out against Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

He sounded like his old stern self in Regensburg two months ago when he quoted a Byzantine emperor saying Islam was violent and irrational -- even though he later denied sharing that view.

But the 79-year-old Pontiff, who seemed shocked at the angry protests his speech triggered in the Muslim world, has shown he now agrees that diplomacy also belongs to his job as head of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics.

ACTING LIKE A STATESMAN

Benedict displayed this right on arrival in Ankara on Tuesday, unexpectedly indicating to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan that the Vatican did not oppose Turkish EU membership and that he considered Islam a religion of peace.

He then paid his respects at the tomb of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, and visited top religious official Ali Bardakoglu -- who in September had thundered against his speech and urged him to consider staying home.

By the time Benedict hoisted that Turkish flag on Wednesday, the worst suspicions about him were gone.

"People say he's acting more realistically now, like a statesman," said Turkish Daily News columnist Mustafa Akyol.

Despite the upbeat tone, some caution remained.

"We shouldn't jump to the conclusion the Pope has changed his stand on Islam," said Bekir Karliaga, theology professor at Istanbul's Marmara University. "We should look at his deeds from now on to see if he really meant what he said here."

In France, home to Europe's largest Muslim minority, there was relief that Benedict did what was needed to remove the Regensburg speech as an obstacle to Catholic-Muslim dialogue.

"I'm pleased that his calming words and gestures were well received not only by Turks but also by other Muslims in Europe," said Father Christophe Roucou, the French Catholic Church's expert on relations with Islam.

"For me, he has turned this sad page of Regensburg," said Algerian philosopher Mustapha Cherif, who discussed Islam with Benedict at the Vatican earlier this month.

STUCK AT REGENSBURG

But Turkey, a secular state that hopes to join the European Union, is not representative of the whole Muslim world. In Islam's Middle Eastern heartland, Arab spokesmen have repeated their demands for a full papal apology for Regensburg.

"He has not stated his opinion in full candor and clarity on this insult," said Mohamed Habib, deputy leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. "He says he respects Muslims but does he respect Islam and the beliefs of Islam? This is the issue."

Akyol said the reactions highlighted important differences between Arabs and Turks, who he said had more ties with the West and were more concerned about Western opinion.

"The Arabs don't see or appreciate the gestures that the Turks do," he said. "They're still stuck at Regensburg."

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/art...=&cap=&sz=13&WTModLoc=NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage2

Despite elements on this forum to amiss Turkey in reliance to the Pope visit, the visit was a full success story.
There was an organized Demonstration against the Pope with 20.000 demonstrators out of 73 Million Turks in a 15 Mio city.
Such demonstration must be possible in a Democracy.

Overall the visit helped much Turks to revise their image about Pope Benedikt, who as Cardinal Ratzinger engaged in some Anti-Turkish comments.
With the end of this visit every sides are happy and didn't thought that the visit would have such a positive outcome.
 

ekrem

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My ending words to the Pope visit:

------------------------

From Turkish Constitution

II. Right and Duty of Training and Education

ARTICLE 42. No one shall be deprived of the right of learning and education.

The scope of the right to education shall be defined and regulated by law.

Training and education shall be conducted along the lines of the principles and reforms of Atatürk, on the basis of contemporary science and educational methods, under the supervision and control of the state. Institutions of training and education contravening these provisions shall not be established.

The freedom of training and education does not relieve the individual from loyalty to the Constitution.
http://www.tbmm.gov.tr/english/constitution.htm


In Turkey we have a Institution called YÖK (Yüksek Ögretim Kurumu)
http://www.yok.gov.tr/english/index_en.htm ( Council of Higher Education)
All Universities, Theological Faculties - including teaching of Imams - are bound to it. In Turkey there does not exist an backyard preached Islam. Nor is education of Imams in Turkey left to dubious people indoctrinating people with intolerable stuffs.

Power sharing in Turkish System is so:
DIYANET (Religious Authority) operates every mosque in Turkey
YÖK educates staff for Mosques

The Pariarchate is for over 550 years an Ottomanian / Turkish institution.
The Patriarch is not allowed to educate its priests itself. And this handling is given by the constitution.
If the Patriarch bounds education of its priests to a University networked to YÖK, then Patriarch can begin tomorrow 8 o'clock to educate priests.
For Backyard-Backstreet Islam / Christianity is no room in Turkey. But unfortunately the Patriarch wants exactly this while Islam is subdued to Turkish Constitution.
Patriarch had much more freedom in Ottoman Empire, as well as Islam, but Ottoman Empire is history and now Turkish Constitution is binding everyone.
So the Patriarch being a Turkish citizen and Patriarchate being a Turkish Institution is no exception.

Turkey is Sunnite, but we have an unknown number of Alevites, too. +20 Million people who do not pray, fast or practice other things of Sunnite Islam and are very influenced with Shamanism from Pre-Islam Turkish period in Central Asia.
Those People are also not represented either in DIYANET or YÖK.
But this is slowly changing. Now in Religion school hour, which Turkish Constitutional Court lately mandated as optional and not binding for every schoolboy, Alevi faith is introduced, too.
There will something change for sure in whole DIYANET system in near future.
But one thing will not change, Turkish Republic controls Religion in its territory.

The Patriarch is these days mentioned as World Orthodox leader in world press. Which is so not true. Russian Orthodoxy, with over 100 mio followers does not accept this position.
In Russia the Orthodox Patriarch is Alixiyev II. and has great influence on Putin.
The Serbian Orthodoxy is heavily influenced by Russian Orthodoxy, so that Patriarch of Istanbul has easy to say only influence over Greek Orthodoxy.
So as i stated before in the Thread the Patriarch issue is an issue between Turkey and Greece together with other major problems.
And not between Turkey and Christianity.
Even in Greek constitution it is said, that Greek Orthodoxy follows Istanbul Patriarchate allthough this connection is only theoretical and Greek Orthodoxy is much stringer and has major influence over Greece state. Greece is antithesis of a secular state.
This issue is quite complex as are relations between both nations.

To the Pope and i mean this truly, that his visit to Turkey had a pole reversal effect on Turkish people. With some nice gestures, like waving the Turkish flag, speaking Turkish in Efes and searching dialog and not just making show has abolished negative feelings about him which arose in his time as Cardinal Ratzinger.
Maybe some people HERE stuck with their brain in Crusades and Jihad feel now disappointed but the visit was a true success for inter cultural dialog between Islam and Christianity but this is the way out of misery and Turkey was proud to serve for this interest and is working further on for this to happen.
Turkey is despite all shit giving HERE about it, unique, anchored to both sides of conflict camps, and you do not have to tap on my shoulder for it being so. I give a damn s*** what HERE thinks and openly speaks out about Turkey. :thanks:
Pope knew exactly what he did in Turkey and this has nothing to do with crawling or boot licking and he opened to Turkish society a view of him which we thought was not possible of.
Thousands of Journalists also of other states of majority Muslim population went with the Pope on his visit and as i see everyone is agrees that the Pope and Turkish Authorities he met with were serious about dialog on a basis that no religion is standing on an above stair than the other.
Also Turkey showed its function as a bridge of Cultures and this outcome of the visit especially after Regensburg could not be achieved in another State with majority Muslim population.
I belief the Pope's words by leaving on the airport that he leaves his half heart behind in Istanbul.
We all could see how the Pope was relaxed, after he met with Turkish President the first day and everything was a bit cool.
In Efes, Aya Sofya, Blue Mosque and by the Patriarch we could all see the Pope's happy face.
So a visit where all sides are happy and this visit will have a lasting effect at least for Turkish society.
 

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