May 20, 2021

Listen on Apple Podcasts

It’s been 50 years since the Turkish government closed the Greek Orthodox Theological School of Halki, also known as the Halki Seminary. The school continues to be unable to educate or train clergy in a country with a historical but dwindling Greek Orthodox community. The Halki Seminary’s continued closure poses an obstacle to the survival of that community within Turkey.

The international community—including U.S. presidents and other high-ranking officials from the United States and Europe—have joined the Ecumenical Patriarchate in calling upon the Turkish government to reopen the Halki Seminary to no avail. Although Turkish officials have at times appeared inclined to support the reopening of the seminary, none have taken any concrete steps to do so.

This week we are joined by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, to discuss the obstacles that the Ecumenical Patriarchate faces in Turkey today.


Read the Turkey chapter of the 2021 Annual Report

Also available in Turkish and Kurdish (Kurmanji)


Dwight Bashir, Director of Outreach and Policy, USCIRF
Archbishop Elpidophoros, Head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America