Explaining his presence at the opening of the “Turkish Center” in New York, which was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, Ersin Tatar, is given by the Archbishop of America.
In the aftermath of the reactions in both the Greek and the Cypriot community, but also in the Armenian community – with the ANCA organization responding with a particularly harsh statement – culminating in the cancellation of the meeting with the President of the Republic, Nikos Anastasiadis, as a sign of dissatisfaction. The Archdiocese points out that Mr. Elpidoforos is talking and will talk to officials of Turkey, like any other country, in the context of his efforts to support the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ecumenical Orthodoxy, world and regional peace and interfaith peace.
As they characteristically emphasize, he will take every opportunity given to him to vigorously support his interlocutors from all over the world – and especially Turkey – the institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the opening of the Theological School of Halki, the rights of the Greek Orthodox minority and the just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on United Nations resolutions calling for the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus.
It is noted that, during his presence at the inauguration of the “Turkish Center”, the Archbishop of America reiterated the request for the reopening of the Halki Theological School, while sending a message for the religious freedom of minorities in Turkey.
“I congratulate President Erdogan on the inauguration of the Turkish Center (which he did) together with Secretary-General Guterres. “As always, I insist on the importance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the reopening of the Halki Theological School and the support of the rights of Turkey's religious minorities,” he said in a Twitter post.
According to the same circles, this includes his participation in the inauguration of the building of the Turkish Permanent Representation to the UN, in which the UN Secretary General also participated.
The meetings with Mitsotaki – Anastasiadis
The issue has taken on wider dimensions, as Mr. Elpidoforos had not informed about his intention to give the “present” to an event, which, among other symbols, included the legalization of the participation of the head of the occupying forces in Cyprus. .
For this reason, as a sign of disapproval, the President of the Republic, Nikos Anastasiadis, canceled their scheduled meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
The meeting was scheduled for 11:00 on Wednesday, at the headquarters of the Archdiocese of America, but the Cypriot president finally invoked his “busy schedule” to cancel the fourth quarter.
“I can not meet him when the day before he was at a fiesta with the head of the occupying forces,” Nikos Anastasiadis reportedly told his associates.
Despite the initial information that they wanted the same “path” to be followed by the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who arrives in New York in the afternoon, this did not happen. Thus, his meeting with the Archbishop of America will take place on Friday.
According to reports, the prime minister will visit the “Ground Zero”, the site of the 9/11 attacks, and then will be guided by the Archbishop to the Church of St. Nicholas, which recently reopened its gates.