Greek Orthodox Minority in Turkey Faces Threat of Extinction

Orthodox feature

The Greek Orthodox minority in Turkey is confronting a crisis, with its population plummeting to a mere 1,500 individuals, primarily consisting of elderly members, starkly contrasting with its 1.4 million-strong community a century ago, writes Abdullah Bozkurt for Nordic Monitor.

This decline can be attributed to a variety of factors including forced repatriation, asset seizures, sustained pressure, crackdowns, unfair discrimination, profiling, and decades-long tensions between Ankara and Athens.

The dire situation of the rapidly diminishing Greek Orthodox minority was underscored in a document circulated at the United Nations in January, prepared by the Ecumenical Federation of Constantinopolitans, revealing the formidable challenges confronting the community.

Despite efforts to address the issue, such as the return of some confiscated properties, the main concern of the dwindling population impacting the Greek Orthodox community remains unresolved.

Turkey's official stance on the Ecumenical Patriarchate, its dismissal of Bartholomew I's role as the leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, and the resurgence of negative campaigning against the patriarchate further exacerbate the plight of the minority community.

Barft story
Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I is seen giving a sermon at Sümela Monastery in 2012

The Turkish government's alliance with nationalist and neo-nationalist groups adds to the pressure on the Greek Orthodox community, with campaigns aimed at undermining the patriarchate and fabricating criminal allegations against its leadership.

(Source: Nordic Monitor)

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