Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s former chief negotiator in the country’s EU accession talks and close aide to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, says he does not rule out the reopening of the Halki Theological School near Istanbul.
Speaking to state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency, Bagis said it “is feasible” the school that was shut down in 1971 by Turkish authorities – under a law curbing non-state religious education – will be reopened in the near future.
He said he based his optimism on the fact that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Erdogan “gave such a signal” during their joint press conference last week.
“It will be a win-win solution for all the parties involved, for Turkey, Greece, the European Union, our allies, our citizens, the Turkish and the Greek people,” he said.
On Friday, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback expressed Washington’s support for the reopening of the Halki Theological School.