From Zaman Online, with thanks to Kemaste:
Nearly 200 academics, journalists, politicians and religious figures from Turkey, Europe and the US gathered in Brussels for the 8th meeting of the Abant Platform, which was titled “Turkey’s EU Process: Culture, Identity and Religion.” Among the participants was a representative from the European Catholic Church Association, who said yesterday, “European Union membership for Muslim Turkey has no drawbacks.”…
The French Metropolit[an] of the Greek Orthodox Church, Emmanual Adamakis, ultimately said that the Fener Greek Patriarch supported Turkey’s EU membership. He lamented however, that the institution’s dormitories and schools remained closed and stressed that they existed in Turkey in the name of Christianity, and did not have ulterior motivations.
“Do not prevent the Church from educating children”, Adamakis said. Adamakis addressed the illegal status of “ecumenical” and implored Turkey to recognize the concept.
A representative of the Turkish Armenian Orthodox Patriarch, Sahag Mashalian, recalled that Christianity reached the west through Turkey. He then exhorted Turkey to show sufficient tolerance to other religions even though from time to time such tolerance is problematic.
Stephen Lante, a representative from the Europe Catholic Churches Association, said that neither the Catholic Church, nor the Vatican, regards the EU as a Christian club. Lante did criticize that processes by which non-Muslims own property and establish foundations and associations in Turkey were still flawed. He added that the issue would be addressed on December 17th.
Belgian Professor Dirk Rochtus expressed his opposition to the idea that because Turkey did not undergo an enlightenment process, and the subsequent reforms like other European countries, it cannot be a part of the EU.
Rochtus contended that these values could be learned. He [cited] Germany as an example and said that even though Germany did not realize enlightenment, it developed its own culture in the 19th century.
How is Turkey not like Germany in its development? The presence of jihadist sentiments there is just the beginning.