Voices from Russia

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Turkey Uncovers Plot To Kill Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew

Patriarch Bartholomew

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On Friday, an EP spokesman said that Turkey is investigating an alleged plot to assassinate Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Archontonis, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians (sic), and has stepped up security around the Patriarchate in Istanbul. Spokesman Dositheos Anagnostopoulos said that the patriarch hadn’t received any direct threats, but learned of the alleged plot from Turkish media, which Turkish police later confirmed to the Patriarchate, saying, “Later in the day, police informed the patriarchate of a possible threat and dispatched additional police officers”.

Turkish broadcaster NTV said that police arrested one man in relation to the alleged plot, after state prosecutors in central Kayseri province received an anonymous letter saying there was a plan to assassinate Bartholomew on 29 May, the anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of present-day Istanbul. It said that police were still searching for two men in relation to the alleged plot. We couldn’t immediately reach the Ankara chief public prosecutor’s office, which local media said is leading the investigation, for comment.

There’s been at least one previous assassination plot against Bartholomew in recent years, but the patriarchate sought to play down Friday’s reports. Anagnostopoulos said, “The patriarch isn’t taking this too seriously. He doesn’t believe there’s a serious threat”. Known often by his full title Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople New Rome, the historical name for Istanbul, he’s the spiritual head of worldwide Orthodoxy (sic), which split from the Roman Catholic Church in 1054 {what rubbish… but what do you expect from Westerners?: editor}.

Previous attacks on Christians have raised concerns about the safety of religious minorities in Muslim Turkey, which has around 100,000 Christians out of a total population of 76 million. In 2010, his driver stabbed a leading Catholic bishop to death at his home in southern Turkey, and, in 2006, a teenager with suspected links to ultra-nationalists murdered a Roman Catholic priest in the Black Sea town of Trabzon. In 2007, three members of a Bible publishing company, one of whom was a German citizen, were tortured and killed in Malatya in central Turkey.

10 May 2013

Ayla Yackley

Jonathon Burch

Reuters

As quoted in the Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/10/plot-to-kill-orthodox-patriarch-bartholomew-_n_3253191.html

 

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