The Ecumenical Patriarch in Turkey Cannot Use His Ecclesiastical Title

Country: Turkey

Date of incident: August 1, 2010

Patriarch Bartholomew leads 250 million Orthodox Greeks worldwide. The community in Turkey has dwindled to a few thousand. The Turkish government refuses to recognize the title Ecumenical Patriarch, or Bartholomew's role as an international religious leader. A journalist from CBS asked Bartholomew about his feelings, he said that he felt “crucified” by the difficulties he faces every day in Turkey.

Despite the fact that the Venice Commission (2010) concluded that this interference with Church governing would constitute a violation of the autonomy of the Orthodox Church under Article 9 of the ECHR, no change was yet implemented. Turkish and foreign nationals are to be treated equally in terms of their ability to exercise their right to freedom of religion by participating in the life of organised religious communities in accordance with the ECHR.  Sources: