“The theological school in Halki will open,” read the titles of the Turkish daily newspapers Hürriyet and Milliyet, after the announcement of the Turkish minister of culture Ertuğrul Günay in an interview for the Turkish TV Channel 24: “The past is the past. Now we need to start dealing with new things.”
“There is one technical problem. If the School will function on a university level, it will need to be integrated in our higher education system. If we open it as a technical lyceum, it will start functioning as a technical school. I do not know what is the reached stage of negotiation, when it comes to this problem but I support its opening,” said the Turkish minister of culture and tourism.
Ertuğrul Günay added that “the school used to work but it was closed because of the tension around Cyprus. But now we need to send a new message – what belongs to the past, must remain there.”
The minister noted that the opening of the School is not a political topic and currently there are some technical difficulties, which need to be resolved. “The system of the School does not “match” with the existing higher education system but we will find a solution. We are not facing a political problem. The discussions are still taking place on a technical level. What is more preferable – people working on different positions in religious Orthodox institutions in Turkey, educated in Turkey or abroad? I believe that it is better for those positions to be taken by people, who received their education in our country,” said during the interview Mr. Günay.
Mr. Günay also said that during his meeting with new Moscow Patriarch in July, who will visit Turkey, present will also be the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.