Friday March 6, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
20o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Mosque and school spark new feud between Turkey and Greece

Greece and Turkey, which share a history marred by bitter territorial disputes and Christian-Muslim feuds, are at loggerheads once again over religion.

The latest row erupted after Greece flatly rejected the idea of reviving two Muslim mosques in Athens in return for the reopening of an Orthodox clergy school in Turkey.

Mosques have been a thorny issue for a long time in Greece, where the population is predominantly Greek Orthodox. Athens is one of the few European capitals without an official mosque.

The Halki seminary has also been a subject of controversy. The Orthodox clergy used to train in the school located on an island off Istanbul but it was closed in 1971, after Turkey fell out with Greece over Cyprus.

Turkey, a country where Muslims make up 99 percent of the population, recently decided to give back to the seminary lands that had been seized in 1943, but there was no talk of reopening.

"While we return something, we have the right to expect the return of other things,» said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said he wanted two mosques revived in exchange for the seminary.

"Greece's position on the subject (the re-opening of the seminary) is clear, (it is) in accordance with international law and has been expressed on numerous occasions,» Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said earlier this week.

Any further public discussion on the matter would be «counter productive,» Venizelos said when asked to comment on Erdogan's suggestion.

Erdogan also wants Greece's Muslims to be able to elect their own Mufti (religious leader), something that the Greek government is currently in charge of.

Greece is home to around 500,000 Muslims -- many of them undocumented migrants -- including a community of over 100,000 Greek citizens of Turkish origin in the country's northeast.

A staunchly Orthodox state with bitter memories of nearly four centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule, Greece currently offers sanctioned Muslim religious sites only near its northeastern border with Turkey.

The issue of mosques in Greece started popping up shortly after 2000, as the 2004 Athens Olympics were looming up.

With an increasing number of migrants from Pakistan and other Muslim countries having recently found their way to the Greek capital, the matter has become more pressing and in 2011 the government approved the construction of a mosque in Athens.

But there were no immediate signs of interest in the project, in view of the Greek Church's reluctance, objections by local residents and protests by far-right activists including neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn.

In September, the ministry of infrastructure launched a fourth call for offers for this project which will cost some one million euros ($1.4 million).

[AFP]

ekathimerini.com , Friday October 11, 2013 (12:40)  
PM, FinMin in diplomatic push to sell measures
Police seeking missing student to recall key witnesses
State will keep paying priests´ salaries, Greek gov´t says
Venizelos won´t be called to give evidence in Papaconstantinou trial
Jobless rate starts picking up again
Greek unemployment started to rise again in December following 14 months of gradual decline, reaching 26 percent according to figures released on Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authori...
Election lifted consumers’ mood
Consumer confidence in Greece jumped almost 20 points in February to reach the highest level observed in the last six years, and led to an improvement in the economic climate despite the sta...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greece need to attack more, new coach Markarian says
Greece coach Sergio Markarian said Thursday he wanted Greece to play more attacking football against Hungary in a Euro 2016 qualifier on March 29 as his side strive to move off the bottom po...
SOCCER
Super League restarts, but behind closed doors
Deputy Minister for Sports Stavros Kontonis announced on Wednesday the resumption of the Super League this weekend after it was suspended last week following crowd trouble at the Athens derb...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
PISA, Schengen, mediocrity and isolation
Greece’s most serious problem is not the economic and political crisis, though it did contribute greatly to it. At the root of our evil lies our great isolation, not only from our partners i...
COMMENTARY
Greek-Turkish relations
There are other issues beyond those focusing on the economy that the government, formerly of the “Indignants” and currently adapting – willingly or unwillingly – to eurozone realities, is fa...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. PM, FinMin in diplomatic push to sell measures
2. Jobless rate starts picking up again
3. Police seeking missing student to recall key witnesses
4. Election lifted consumers’ mood
5. State will keep paying priests´ salaries, Greek gov´t says
6. ECB decisions may prove to be a blessing in disguise
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek-Turkish relations
2. Greece seeks to plug its 'Bermuda Triangle' of lost taxes
3. Greece struggles to make debt math work amid bailout standoff
4. Greece has backup plan if March bailout cash fails to arrive, says Varoufakis
5. Government policy
6. Draghi details sought as ECB's QE plan poised to be fleshed out
Today
This Week
1. Greece to make international protest over Turkey reserving Aegean air space
2. The Greek tax drama
3. SYRIZA feeling the pain
4. Varoufakis to make six reform proposals at Monday's Eurogroup
5. The unlikely winners of Greece's surrender on euro
6. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.