Turkey targets Greek Orthodox, Jewish & Armenian religious leaders

Τhe Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul has expressed its deepest concern after Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has been targeted by a Turkish pro-islamist magazine. Magazine “Gerçek Hayat” has claimed that members of minority communities and Greek Orthodox and Jewish religious leaders were supporters of Fetullah Gulen, Ankara considers as the mastermind behind the failed coup of 2016.


The Ecumenical Patriarchate said in a statement that the publication was targeting members of the community and religious leaders with untrue allegations. It expressed strong concern about the high risk of racist attacks and desecration. “We would like to state that with this announcement, we are sure that the competent State Authorities will do their due,” the statement posted on Facebook said.

Also, the Jewish community of Turkey reportedly condemned the publication. In a post on Twitter, they said “we condemn the discrimination and provocation caused by publications with unrealistic accusations against our Archbishop. These hate publications are damaging to Turkey. From our side, we hope for an immediate restoration of hate publications – through education and the legal way – as they affect our Turkey, of which we are an integral part.”

In a special 170-page publication on “100 years of FETÖ, the most insidious terrorist organization in the world” Gerçek Hayat published a list of Turkish and foreign politicians, the magazine claims that they are supporters of FETÖ, the name the official Turkey has given to Gulen’s alleged network.

The conspiracy list includes the names of Turkish secular leaders such as Ismet Inonu, Bulent Ecevit, Suleyman Demirel (all deceased) but also foreigners such as Hillary Clinton and Pope John Paul II.

It lists also the leaders of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Chief Rabbi Ishak Haleva, and the former Armenian Patriarch of Turkey Shenork Kaloustian (deceased). The magazine belongs to pro-government, pro Erdogan Yeni Safak media group.

It is worth noting that just two days ago, there was an arson attack on an Armenian Church, with the arsonist claiming that the Armenian community is to blame for the coronavirus.