Orthodox Christians flock to once-banned holy site in Turkey

August 15, 2010

sumela 4 (Photo: Orthodox Christians at Sumela Monastery, 15 August 2010/Umit Bektas)

Europe Papadopolous’s grandparents were children when they fled their village in northeast Turkey and settled in Greece almost 90 years ago, yet she still felt she was in exile.

VIDEO: Roundup of Ramadan starting in Turkey, Asia, Afghanistan

By Reuters Staff
August 13, 2010

Below is a Reuters video roundup of the start of Ramadan in Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Afghanistan:

Turkey offers citizenship to Orthodox archbishops to help patriarch succession

July 23, 2010

bartholomewTurkey has offered citizenship to Orthodox Christian archbishops from abroad to help the next election of the ecumenical patriarch, the spiritual leader of the world’s 250 million Orthodox faithful, officials said.  Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has quietly led the gesture to the Orthodox, who face a shortage of candidates to succeed Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, 70, and serve on the Holy Synod, which administers patriarchate affairs.

Turkey reopening ancient Armenian church to heal wounds

July 21, 2010

akdamar 1 (Photos: The Church of the Holy Cross, Akdamar Island, 27 June 2010/Umit Bektas)

Swallows dart around the dome of the 10th century Armenian church rising from Akdamar Island set amid the turquoise waters of Lake Van.  Tombstones with ancient Christian inscriptions and crosses lie scattered among the weeds in the garden, where day-trippers picnic in the shade of almond trees and sunbathe after a swim.

Greek faithful return to pray in ancient Turkish homeland

June 29, 2010

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew leads prayers at St Theodore in central Turkey on June 27/Photo by Simon Johns

About 1,000 Greek Orthodox gathered in central Turkey this weekend for a pair of emotional liturgies led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as the Greek faithful seek to reclaim a cultural and religious link to their ancient homeland.

Bishop’s murder in Turkey shocking and worrying

June 4, 2010

padoveseJournalists are supposed to be a pretty thick-skinned bunch, but it’s hard not to be shocked and saddened when you find out that one of your contacts has been murdered. That was the case for me when I heard that Bishop Luigi Padovese had been stabbed to death at his home in southern Turkey on Thursday. Although I never met him in person, we spoke several times over the phone about his efforts to reopen the church in Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul. Click here for that story.

New Turkish opposition party leader sacks secularist old guard

By Reuters Staff
May 24, 2010
istanbul

Istanbul, 24 May 2008/Tom Heneghan

Turkey’s new opposition leader has purged key hardline secularists and set a tentative reformist course in a bid to regain ground lost to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party government, which critics accuse of secretly pursuing an Islamic state.

Out with the old? Turkish secularists seek new vision and leader

By Reuters Staff
May 22, 2010
chp

Republican People's Party (CHP) congress with portrait of Kemal Kilicdaroglu in Ankara May 22, 2010/Umit Bektas

French foreign minister gets ready for criticism over planned burqa ban

May 2, 2010


(French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Europe 1 radio, 2 May 2010/Dailymotion)

Muslim scholars recast jihadists’ favourite fatwa

March 31, 2010
magnifying koran

An Indonesian Muslim uses magnifying glass to read Koran verses printed on lamb parchment, Jakarta, July 27, 2005/Beawiharta