Christodoulos ‘respects Turks’

Watering down his controversial contention that Turks are «barbarians» who should not be allowed into the European Union, the head of the Church of Greece on Saturday voiced «respect for the Turkish people.» Archbishop Christodoulos told an Athens congregation that Orthodox Christians respect all the peoples of the world, including the Turks. Christodoulos, who has frequently railed against the perils posed to Greece’s national identity by globalization and the European Union, also expressed a desire to see a «more European» Turkey. «We want to see Turkey adopt democratic sensibilities and European manners,» he said. On Thursday, Christodoulos described the Turks as barbarians with no place in the EU, which he called «the family of Christians.» In an apparent dig at Christodoulos on Saturday, Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, who is engaged in a bitter turf war with the archbishop, said Turkey’s EU prospects would help Greeks and Turks «live in peace, far from myopic approaches.»