Monday, March 26, 2012

President Obama says Halki will reopen

( - Turkey has decided to reopen a former Greek Orthodox seminary on an island off the Istanbul coast, according to a statement made by US President Barack Obama.

“I am pleased to hear of his decision to reopen the Halki seminary,” the American President said after a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of a two-day nuclear security summit in Seoul on Sunday.

The European Union has said re-opening Halki seminary, a centre of Orthodox scholarship for more than a century until Turkey closed it down in 1971, is key if Ankara is to prove a commitment to human rights and pluralism and advance its membership bid.

During the meeting in Seoul, the two leaders discussed ways to press Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, including non-lethal assistance to the opposition and getting Iran to stop supporting Assad’s regime.

Obama is expected to visit Turkey for the second time in June, Erdogan said.


  1. This is wonderful news!

    Alas, it will probably be tainted soon, if true--with criticism of the GOAA concerning the upcoming election and how the Orthodox should treat Obama. Religious freedom issues at home vs. helping push to reopen the Halki seminary abroad...

    But who knows!

  2. Heard this song before. When it happens it will be time to break out a nice bottle of iced bubbly. Until then color me skeptical.

  3. Turkey has promised to reopen the Halki Seminary -- which it closed down in 1971 -- on at least three other occasions in the past three years, but has never carried out its promise.

    Consequently, I hate to be pessimistic, but I must be honest and say "I'll believe it when I see it."