Permission for celebration of Assumption stalled after Islamist deputy's objection
Bartholomew, the 270th archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch, reacted on Friday to Turkish authorities who have not yet responded to a request for the celebration of Assumption Day on 15 August in Sumela Monastery that is located in a mountainous areas in Turkey's Black Sea province of Trabzon.
Speaking in a church in Istanbul's Yenikoy neighborhood, Bartholomew said:
"Why are they denying permission? These are simple things. We just want to say our prayers for a couple of hours and return home. It won't even take a full day, merely a few hours."
Noting that Dogan Bekin, a deputy for the Islamist New Welfare Party, objected to a celebration in Sumela Monastery and claimed that it would constitute a "violation of the Treaty of Lausanne," the archbishop said:
"The deputy says the celebration will violate the Treaty of Lausanne. How is it possible? The Treaty of Lausanne says many things, including things about my homeland Imbros Island, and in more general terms about our interests. The Theological School of Halki still remains closed, and a deputy says we might violate the Treaty of Lausanne."
Deputy Bekin had claimed that Bartholomew's use of the ecumenical patriarch title was in violation of the treaty's terms and that the privileges of the Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul was abolished by the treaty.
The Governorship of Istanbul's Fatih district lat year similarly voiced objectiond to the use of the ecumenical patriarch title, saying, "The claim that the Patriarchate is ecumenical has no legal basis."
Upon the governor's objection, Armenian deputy Garo Paylan had submitted a parliamentary question, asking the interior minister:
"Is it the duty of the Governor of Fatih district to make statements on the status of minority institutions protected by the Treaty of Lausanne?" and "Why does the Fatih Governorship feel the need to step in when the Turkish Presidency recognizes Patriarch Bartholomew as ecumenical?"