Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that he was willing to open the Orthodox Theological School of Halki if Greece opens to old Ottoman Fethiye Mosque in downtown Athens and thus with a “minaret reaching the sky.”
Speaking at an event in Edirne, Erdogan said when Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras raised the issue of re-opening of the Halki School, he asked him in return to open the Fethiye Mosque in Plaka, the historic center of Athens.
“When I met Mr. Tsipras, I told him Look, you want something of us. You want the Theological School (of Halki) “. I said, “Let’s open the Fethiye Mosque. They said “we will open the mosque”. And why is there no minaret? Could the churches be without a bell tower? What is the essential part of a mosque? The minarets that reach the sky, “Erdogan said.
This is apparently the short version of the discussion between the two leaders and the Greek Prime Minister obviously told him that a new mosque is under construction in Athens.
The Fethiye Mosque is a 17th-century Ottoman mosque in Plaka, in the historical center of Athens. It is located on the northern side of the ancient Roman Agora near the Tower of the Winds. It was built on the ruins of a Christian basilica from the middle Byzantine period (8th/9th centuries). The Christian church was converted into a mosque in 1456/58, soon after the Ottoman conquest of the Duchy of Athens, to coincide with the visit to the city by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1458. Only a fragment of the mihrab survives from this mosque, which was demolished and replaced by the present structure between 1668 and 1670
The megalomaniac Turkish president did not reveal whether he would also cut the inauguration ribbon of Fethiye Mosque or of any other Mosque in Athens as he loves to see himself as a modern Mehmed the Conqueror.
“Religious minorities can exercise their rights in many ways,” Erdogan said among others during the event in Edirne claiming that “our mosques in the West receive bomb attacks and incendiary attacks. In “Western Thrace” and in Germany.”
He spoke further of “Turks” in “Western Thrace”. “You can not tolerate the term” Turk “in” Western Thrace “while we have no such problems anywhere you want to use the term” Romios ” [Greeks of Istanbul].
PS The problem of Turkey and Erdogan is that they “see” a Turk behind every Muslim in Greece and elsewhere. And that’s simply not the case. A Turk may be a Muslim but not every Muslim is a Turk.