Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ecumenical Patriarchate Wins Landmark Case in Turkey

The Ecumenical Patriarchate just won a landmark case against the Turkish government, thanks to the support of the Court of Human Rights in the EU, over the ownership and administration of its former orphanage on the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara. Provided the Turkish government obeys its own court's ruling, the orphanage will be returned to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which plans on turning it into a center for the study of interreligious (quelle surprise) and environmental issues (of course). The news release can be found here.

The ruling could pave the way for the return of over twenty monasteries in Turkey successfully appropriated from the administration of the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the Turkish government. Similar actions against the Syriac Orthodox Church in recent times have also been rebuffed by the courts, giving hope to Turkey's religious and ethnic minorities that the twenty-first century might be a time of greater freedom for them than the last century has been.


  1. "Quelle surprise" indeed!

    Mixed feelings in response to this, of course, but thank you for sharing.

  2. Yeah, I feel like a better use could be found for it :-). That's probably what the EU or the Greek government is willing to pay for though...