Remarks
Philip H. Gordon
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Istanbul, Turkey
July 30, 2012


Date: 07/30/2012 Description: Assistant Secretary Gordon and the Hagia Triada Monastery's archpriest and Metropolitan of Bursa Elpidophoros Lambriniadis speak with journalists at the Halki Greek Orthodox Seminary. - State Dept Image

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: First I want to say how delighted I am to be back in Turkey. I’m making a short visit to Istanbul. I was just in Athens for a couple of days.

I have followed for a long time the issue of the Halki Seminary. As His Eminence and everybody knows the United States has long supported the reopening of Halki. I was encouraged to hear this morning and in other recent discussions in Turkey positive things about the prospects for reopening the school and the seminary which we believe would be a hugely positive gesture in the direction of religious tolerance and openness and religious freedom, and it would be very much supported by the United States. We hope that in the very near future we could visit it as an actually functioning seminary.

Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa: We hope so. Thank you for coming.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Thank you so much for receiving me.

[This is a mobile copy of Remarks at Halki Seminary]