HEYBELIADA/ISTANBUL (AA) - August 6, 2012 - A senior cleric with Istanbul's Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate has said he was hopeful over the reopening of the Halki Seminary.
"Everything is ready for the reopening of the seminary. There is no specific pledge or a date given to us but we believe it is time for it. Because the public opinion, media, state and even the opposition are ready. We are hopeful, excited and waiting," Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, metropolitan of Bursa and chief priest of the Halki Seminary, told the Anadolu Agency.
Lambriniadis said the seminary had been highly respected by both the Ottoman Empire and by Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, adding that it was shut down in 1971 with "a decree that has nothing to do with laws."
Lambriniadis said the Fener Greek Patriarchate never demanded that the seminary functioned as an independent institution free of any laws in Turkey.
"The seminary should open in line with the laws of our state and the laws of National Education. It would make no difference whether the seminary will be under the Ministry of National Education or the Board of Higher Education," Lambriniadis said.