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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bartholomew prays for Atatürk’s reforms in Thessaloniki

Bartholomew and 10 clerics accompanying him visited the Atatürk House Museum in Thessaloniki. AP Photo  
Bartholomew and 10 clerics accompanying him visited the Atatürk House Museum in Thessaloniki. AP Photo

Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew said he prayed for the continuation of the reforms introduced by the founder of the modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, while visiting his house-turned-museum in Thessaloniki on Oct. 24.

“We are happy to visit the founder of the republic’s renovated house in Thessaloniki. While asking for a blessing from God, we pray to the great God for the continuation of [Atatürk’s] reforms forever and for the realization of his ‘Peace at home, peace on Earth” saying more and more over the years,” wrote Bartholomew in the visitors’ book at the Atatürk House Museum.

Bartholomew and 10 clerics accompanying him visited the museum, opened in August after a 13-month renovation. This was his first visit to the museum in 16 years.

Before visiting the museum, Bartholomew paid a visit to the Turkish Consul General in Thessaloniki and met with consul general Tuğrul Biltekin.

“I visit the Turkish and Greek embassies in all the countries I visit. I do not visit consul generals. But I have made an exception for you,” Bartholomew told Biltekin during the meeting.

Biltekin said they last met in 2000 in London and added that he was “honored” by Bartholomew’s visit, adding “it is impossible for someone who meets you not to love you.”

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