TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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The Orthodox Community in Turkey
We are dealing with current crisis issues as they are reflected in international media. In the past, problems were mostly related to the economic crisis, the crisis with Russia, and the tensions between Russia and Ukraine after the annexation of Crimea and economic restrictions to Russia in relation to the European Union, the refugee issue, the negotiations on Brexit, terrorism etc. These issues could influence the future of Europe. Also, events from Asia have had and still have an impact on the world’s geopolitics. In addition to focusing on major international and national events, the influence of religion must not be overlooked. In order to preserve religious cohesion, it is essential to protect the Orthodox heritage. As European citizens, it seems normal for us to have rights and to respect our ethnical, linguistic, religious values. We offer rights to national minorities and we support pluralism, including religious pluralism. But how do Orthodox people in Muslim countries such as Turkey, feel, for example, from this perspective? This article is focusing on studying the Orthodox churches in Turkey and how the Orthodox heritage in Turkey is protected. In this respect, the present study is looking at the historical context (the situation before Atatürk’s influence, his reforms, the current changes), the evolution of the status of churches in that state, the situation of the Orthodox religious minorities. It is important as well to take into consideration the existence of the Syrian Orthodox Church. The current changes made by Erdoğan in Turkey have a problematic impact. The model proposed by Turkey does not have a security mechanisms comparable to the United States, so that changes made by Erdoğan have limited citizens’ rights.