Turkey says it is considering a demand by the Istanbul-based Orthodox Patriarchate for the reopening of a seminary that trained generations of Ecumenical Patriarchs.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc says "we will try to meet them from a legal point of view." He spoke Monday during a courtesy New Year visit to Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians.
Bartholomew hailed Turkey's overtures toward minorities as "openings for democracy and westernization." He said he hopes the seminary can be reopened this year, 40 years after its closure.
Turkey recently granted citizenship to several senior clerics at the church — a requirement for the aging Bartholomew's successor — and separately returned control of a 19th-century orphanage to the Patriarchate.
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