Patriarch Bartholomew: There are few of us left in Constantinople

20 October 2021 15:31
Patriarch Bartholomew. Photo: screenshot from the YouTube channel of the Bigorsky Monastery Patriarch Bartholomew. Photo: screenshot from the YouTube channel of the Bigorsky Monastery

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople complained to journalists about the Turkish authorities, whose policy made the Greeks leave Istanbul.

In an interview with the Greek TV channel MEGA, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople complained that very few Greeks remained in Istanbul.

The interview, translated into Macedonian, was posted on the YouTube channel of the Bigorsky Monastery, being under the jurisdiction of the Macedonian schismatics.

“A big problem for us in Constantinople is the decrease in those from the same origin. There are few of us left and we, with our tooth and nail, as they say, are trying to preserve what we inherited from our ancestors,” the head of Phanar complained to journalists.

Patriarch Bartholomew said that he was doing everything to "preserve property and real estate" owned by Phanar, and lamented that "the government of Ankara does not allow elections to restore ecclesiastic councils in our temples and charitable organizations."

He called this decision of the Turkish authorities "unfair, arbitrary and absurd" and noted that the elections had not been held for 8 years.

At the same time, Patriarch Bartholomew had to admit that even if the elections were allowed, "unfortunately, there are few people from the same origin to take over the management of churches and our institutions."

“We are affected by all the consequences ... of persecution – why not talk about it? – and injustices (to put it mildly) that were committed in relation to the Greeks and led to their escape, to the departure (from Istanbul – Ed.) of people from the same origin," the head of Phanar emphasized.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that Turkish President Recep Erdogan called on the Greeks, who had "left Constantinople", to return.

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