Helping fellow believers

An article of mine has appeared on Eurasianet about the problems facing the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and its ECHR victory last month, in which it won back the Prinkipo Orphanage on Buyukada- see earlier post.
One additional comment made by Father Dositheos Anagnostopoulos, the Patriarchal spokesman who I interviewed for the story, may be helpful in understanding something that is perhaps counter-intuitive to those outside Turkey, namely: why a government with Islamist roots should want to help a Christian institution.
He said:
I believe the government wants to solve our problems, not because it particularly loves us, but by our freedom it wants to gain freedom for Muslim groups.
99 per cent of Turks are Muslim, but Islam has long been shackled by the country’s rigidly secular constitution. By implementing EU legislation and turning a blind eye to Muslim charities and institutions which test the limits of the secular laws, the current government has allowed the religion to occupy a larger space in public life.
You can read the piece here.

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