Will 1.5 Million Orthodox Greeks Return to Turkey?

The Turkish president said: "Let the Greeks who went to Greece come back to their country, it's their country too."

In Ukraine, part of the population celebrates Reconciliation Day. Since the introduction of this holiday in 2015, it has remained unclear who should reconcile with whom on the eve of Victory Day over Nazism, but that is not the issue at hand. Now about Turkey.

There, Erdogan, at a meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew (who was present along with the leaders of religious minorities), decided to have his "day of reconciliation" and suggested that the Greeks who left for Greece return to Turkey: "Let the Greeks who left for Greece return to their country, it is their country too."

Apparently Erdogan was referring to the global population exchange between Turkey and Greece that took place in 1923. At that time, 1.5 million Orthodox Greeks left Turkey.

Now the president of Turkey has called for their return.

And it seems like a fine initiative, but if you remember Erdogan's recent actions to turn Hagia Sophia and the Temple of the Chora into mosques, such words are perceived as subtle (or thick) trolling. Especially those addressed to Patriarch Bartholomew, who, it should be recalled, has not said a single word not only to protest against such actions, but not even the slightest displeasure.

And if those 1.5 million go back - where will they pray? In Turkish mosques? Or maybe the "head of Orthodoxy" will gather his courage and demand that Erdogan return their temples to the Orthodox? Hardly. Patriarch Bartholomew, along with other minority leaders, congratulated the president on Eid al-Adha and said at the meeting that he was "happy to live in a country like Turkey" and that he lived there "comfortably, peacefully and equally. In other words, Orthodox Christians in Turkey have no problems at all.

And therefore - the Greeks, of course, can return. But one can hardly expect their spiritual leader to fight for their religious rights.

Source: spzh.ru (Russian)

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