Turkish MP criticizes Fener Greek Orthodox Church

ANKARA

A senior opposition lawmaker in Turkey on Thursday criticized recent priest appointments in the country by the Istanbul-based Fener Greek Orthodox Church.

“The Fener Greek Patriarchate has been assigning metropolitan bishops to various provinces and districts where there are no [native] Greek populations,” said Umit Ozdag, Istanbul lawmaker of the opposition Good (IYI) Party.

Stressing that Turkey guaranteed the religious rights of Turkey’s Greek minority, Ozdag alleged that the religious ceremonies held by these priests were attended by worshipers arriving from Greece.

Patriarch Bartholomew had assigned a priest to a historical parish in the Yatagan district of western Mugla province.

Some Orthodox community coming from Greece had conducted a religious ceremony in the ruin where no Church exists anymore.

“Why would [the Church] assign metropolitan bishops to the ruins in antique cities?” he said.

Ozdag called on the government to notify the patriarchate against future such behavior.

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