Reactions from turkish officials and the turkish press
By Manolis Kostidis – Istanbul
Reactions have been caused in Turkey by the University of Bosphorus open invitation to participate to the ceremony for the proclamation of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as an Honorary Doctor for the establishment, since the university recognizes the Patriarch’s “ecumenicalism”.
The dean of the public university of Gulay Barbarosoglu, in his invitation to fellow academics and other guests of the proclamation ceremony states: “It is my honor to invite you to the ceremony for the proclamation of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as an Honorary Doctor of our university”. The said institution happens to be a public establishment.
This recognition is unprecedented since the turkish state does not formally recognize the Patriarch’s ecumenicalism as “Patriarch of Fener and Romans”.
Already, the General Secretary of the turkish Ministry of EU Affairs Haluk Ilicak, according to the turkish press, reacted strongly and pointed that “at a time when even the Patriarchy of Moscow does not recognize the ecumenicalism of Bartholomew, this is done by the University of Bosphorus. This action will lead to the recognition of Fanar as ecumenical”.
The turkish newspaper Hurriet, reports that: “Turkey does not recognize the Patriarch’s ecumenicalism since that would elevate him from the religious leader of a minority group to a worldwide religious leader”.
However, despite the attempts from Ankara, almost all countries in the world as well as all the world’s religious leaders recognize the Patriarch of Constantinople as ecumenical.
Racep Tayyip Erdogan, in his visit to Athens in 2010 had noted “why shouldn’t I recognize a title that has been recognized by my ancestors?”, but since that day there hasn’t been a change in Turkey’s policy on the matter.
The Ottoman Empire recognized the Ecumenicalism of the Patriarch of Constantinople.
Bartholomew – Honorary Doctor due to his ecological action.
According to the decision of the university’s senate, Patriarch Bartholomew “has been awarded the title of Honorary Doctor due to his initiatives for the protection of the ecosystem, for the provision of fresh water to a large number of people, the updates regarding the matter of the environmental change, as well as for his messages in an attempt to sensitize the public on these subjects”.
It’s the first time that the Ecumenical Patriarch is been awarded this title from a turkish university, while up to today, he has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from 20 different universities worldwide.
The ceremony for the Ecumanical Patriarch’s Bartholomew honor will take place on December 19, in the university’s facilities.
To date, the Ecumenical Patriarch has organized 7 conferences about ecological issues. At the same time, he has visited and witnessed in person the ecological problems in the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea, the Amazon, the Aegean, even the North Pole. Accompanying him were always scientists and member of the clergy. To add to that, he has cooperated with representatives from other religions concerning the information of the general public about issues of ecology.