29 May, 2007
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos on Monday appeared optimistic that general elections in Turkey on July 22 "will lead to a solution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's problems."
"We hope and pray that after the formation of a new government in Ankara there will be spectacular and radical changes in this direction," the Patriarch said after officiating at a service at the Aghia Triada (Holy Trinity) Cathedral here on the occasion of the Holy Trinity feast day.
Addressing pilgrims from Greece, members of Istanbul's dwindling ethnic Greek community and to Euro-MPs of the Greens Party visiting Turkey, the Patriarch stressed that "we are not asking anything more than the self-evident, the ease and full freedom to exercise our religious duties.
"We want there to be complete freedom in our lives for our minority rights, as is happening with our Muslim brothers in Germany and in other European countries where they are continuously building new mosques without any restriction whatsoever, participating in local government and are elected deputies in the corresponding (European countries') parlia-ments," Vartholomeos said.
Source: Athens News Agency