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Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew extends support to Erdogan’s operation in Arfin against Kurds

Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has lent his support to the Turkish Military “Operation Olive Branch” against Kurds in Arfin area in North-West Syria. In a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Greek Orthodox spiritual leader who is based in Istanbul,  said the Greek Church is praying for the success of the military operation in Syria.

In a letter sent to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Bartholomew said the Greek Church was praying for the success of the military operation in Syria.

“As the tradition of our church, we are always praying for our state, the health of our leaders, and the welfare and happiness of our people. We have not forgotten about the hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced because of conflicts in our neighbors in the south, especially in Syria,” his statement said.

The statement added that the church was praying to God for peace to be restored in Syria with “Operation Olive Branch.”

“It is our community’s wish that our nation develops rapidly in a confident environment with the end of the ill that is terror, which has affected all our citizens, but mostly our Kurdish citizens living in the southeast [of Turkey],” it added.

“The determined attitude of President Erdoğan, who strictly rejects associating terrorism with a religion, is being reflected onto world opinion,” the statement added.

“We pray that you and the Turkish Armed Forces will achieve success and ‘Operation Olive Branch’ will bring peace to the area as its name promises,”  the statement  said.

Bartholomew’s loyalty and support letter to Erdogan has been met in Greece with rolling eyes  and raised eyebrows  as Greece has always been traditionally on the side of Kurds and for sure against any military operations conducted by Turkey. Many Greeks wonder what was the motive for the letter and some are also stunned that he wrote “our nation” and “our state.” It should noted that the Ecumenical Patriarch has to be  Turkish citizen for let’s say ‘historical reasons.”.

Also the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey as well as Turkey’s Community Foundations, an organization that dates back to the pre-republic period and represents charity organizations for non-Muslim Turkish citizens, have reportedly  announced their support for the operation.

Turkish Armed Forces launched “Operation Olive Brunch” on Jan. 20 in Syria’s Afrin to “clear its border of the PKK’s Syrian affiliates, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG),”  Turkey say. Ankara aims to prevent the YPG from establishing an autonomous region, which Turkish officials call a “terror corridor,” by connecting the northwestern Afrin canton to the Kobani and Jazeera cantons in the northeast.

However, in Erdogan’s regime of iron fist the tweet below could give a logical explanation

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  1. costa sakellariou

    he should be ashamed of himself. but with these people – it is always the ‘church’ first!

  2. This man is a shame to the Greek state, its people and the Kurdish community. It is high time for the Greek church to be totally separated/severed from the Greek state.

  3. and…

    even the main left newspaper in NORTHERN cyprus criticised the operation against the kurds…

  4. He is playing a very delicate game here and doesn’t really mention much. Possibly to avoid riling up the ruling crazy? For fear of assassination? To avoid the “takeover ” of saint Sophia as has happened twice already with no Turkish comments? Or repercussions?

    It would have been better for him to say nothing at all.