The “Turkish nationalists” were protesting — violently — the planned reopening of the one and only Orthodox seminary in Turkey. This despite the fact that, according to Turkish law, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople must be a Turkish citizen, born and raised in Turkey. All this is evidence of the fact that the slow strangulation of non-Muslim communities, as mandated by classic Islamic laws that forbid dhimmis to repair old churches or build new ones, is still very much part of the program of “secular” Turkey, both in its legal structures and in the minds of its citizens.
Turkey will make a marvelous addition to the European Union, won’t it?
From EU Business, with thanks to Peter and Andy:
Nearly 1,000 protesters marched to the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Church in Istanbul on Sunday and burned an effigy of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.
Clashes erupted between stone-throwing protesters, who were responding to an appeal from the ultra-nationalist National Action Party, and riot police, who fired tear gas.
The marchers were protesting in particular the planned reopening of the only Orthodox seminary in Turkey, closed since 1971, as part of the government’s overall initiative to gain entry to the European Union.