Friday, August 12, 2011

Greek Foreign Minister Visits Turkey

Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis has begun a state visit to the Turkish island of Imbros, where he met with representatives of the island's Greek community, among them Patriarch Bartholomew (Arhondonis) of Constantinople, and expressed his support for Turkey's application for membership in the European Union. Lambrinidis' visit was occasioned by the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Patriarch Bartholomew to the priesthood. More here.

At the time that Imbros was awarded to the modern Turkish state by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 its population was 95% Greek and Orthodox Christian. Although Turkey committed to guaranteeing the security of the island's population, over the decades following the treaty it settled large numbers of Turks on the island, prompting many of its native inhabitants to immigrate. The island's population today is 97% Turkish.

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