Author Topic: Istanbul, Islam and Christianity  (Read 1084 times)

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Offline 88Devin12

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Istanbul, Islam and Christianity
« on: July 22, 2008, 08:28:05 PM »
I've been reading The Orthodox Church by Bishop Kallistos Ware, and am at the part about the "Greeks and Arabs" (in the 20th century).

Something I've been wondering about. With Turkey (supposedly) becoming more secular, and relations between Greece and Turkey improving. Would it be proper eventually to work towards more freedoms of Orthodox and the Patriarch within Istanbul, and work towards the return of churches to the Orthodox within the old walls of Constantinople?

I was discussing history with my dad earlier, and we discussed Jerusalem, how it was under the Palestinians, then what it became after the war.

Something I thought of... I know that Jerusalem used to be divided into a Christian quarter, a Jewish quarter and a Muslim quarter.

Why not allow the area of Constantinople to be divided like this? Make most of the area within the walls the Christian quarter, allowing Christians to move back there, and freely practice their faith. Return churches back to the Orthodox, except the Hagia Sophia (which could remain a museum and could be used for special celebrations, like Pascha). Muslims can also practice in the area, but the area can be predominantly Christian. However the E.P. will have no governmental say in the district.

This isn't so much to drive the Greeks and Turks apart. But rather it can be used to encourage more friendly relations. The area would still be a part of Turkey, but it could be the Christian quarter. (even if the rest of the city is mostly Muslim)

Just tell me what you think of this idea, is it stupid or feasible. I don't think it's possible, but I thought it'd create an interesting discussion.

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Istanbul, Islam and Christianity
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 09:32:04 PM »
Just tell me what you think of this idea, is it stupid or feasible. I don't think it's possible, but I thought it'd create an interesting discussion.

 ;D Reminds me a naive college buddy of mine, who, whilst sitting in the backseat of my Honda Civic on our way to Sunday Liturgies, would tell me about his life-long dream to (a) write a series of best-selling sci-fi novels, (b) become filthy rich, (c) use his fortune to amass a small army of African mercenaries, (d) lead said mercenaries and a like-minded Orthodox priest on a tactical amphibious raid of Istanbul, and (e) thereby capture Agia Sophia for a period of time long enough for the priest to finish celebrating the Divine Liturgy that Mehmed II's invaders had interrupted.

This whole project would be worth the trouble, of course, because Turkish (and Greek) lore says that if that Liturgy is ever completed, then such will signal the end of the Turks' occupation.

Thus, this young friend would sigh, we Orthodox could regain the City.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 09:33:33 PM by pensateomnia »
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: Istanbul, Islam and Christianity
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 09:45:24 PM »
88Devlin12, Turkey is not becoming more secular.  The current government, which is popular due its economic success, is Islamist inspired.  When it heralded its association with Islam, it couldn't get elected.  The Prime Minister's wife wears the black head scarf (I never remember the name of it, nor do I care enough to be interested in a reply) in public, which is in violation of the alleged secular laws.  I am not optimistic for the foreseeable future for "the good estate of the Holy" Church in Turkey, or for the remanent faithful, but I pray for the progress of the Phanar and hold out Christian hope for better times, someday.  Their modern day martyred life is all the more reason why Orthodoxy should do its best to respect the ancient canonical privileges of the the "First Throne of Orthodoxy," in my opinion, not that His All Holiness hasn't been too aggressive in asserting those privileges.
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