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Patriarch blesses Greek diplomat-artist’s Exh ibition

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=patriarch-blesses-greek-diplomat-artist8217s-exhibition-2011-07-03 Patriarch blesses Greek diplomat-artist’s
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6, 2011

      Patriarch blesses Greek diplomat-artist’s Exhibition

      ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

      Istanbul’s Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I said late Wednesday
      that he is the staunchest supporter of peace and rapprochement between
      Aegean neighbors Turkey and Greece.

      “I pray for friendship between Turkey and Greece. I am the strongest
      supporter of their peace and rapprochement,” Bartholomew said. His
      remarks came at the opening of a photography exhibition, dubbed “The
      Children of Lausanne,” by Greek diplomat Stratos Efthymiou, who has been
      working as second secretary at the Greek Embassy in Ankara since 2007.

      The patriarch’s “remarks reflect his blessing for this exhibition,” said
      a patriarchate official. Analysts said Bartholomew’s comments aimed to
      defend Efthimiou and the Greek Embassy in Ankara against potential
      criticism by some circles in Greece, where the plight of exchanged
      persons in the wake of World War I is still a sensitive and contentious

      Greek Ambassador to Ankara Fothis Xidas said Greece and Turkey wanted
      the development of their ties at a time of “a positive wind” between the
      two counties.

      Bulent Tanik, the mayor of Ankara’s Çankaya district from the main
      opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, who hosted the exhibition,
      said the “the photos here will enrich the friendly atmosphere” between
      Turkey and Greece.

      “It’s very important to develop brotherly connections between Turkey and
      Greece,” Tanik said.

      Efthymiou said that with his exhibition he particularly wanted to honor
      two exchanged persons, one Greek Orthodox lady and one Muslim lady, who
      recently lost their lives after interviewing him for the event.

      In the wake of World War I, up to 2 million Greek-Orthodox and Muslim
      people were forced to leave their homes and settle in Greece and Turkey,
      respectively, during and after what the Turks call The War of Liberation
      and what the Greeks call the Asia Minor Catastrophe in the early 1920s.
      The Lausanne Convention on the exchange of populations in early 1923
      formalized this process.

      Efthymiou’s four grandparents all were exchanged persons. Three of them
      originally were from the western Turkish town of Isparta and the fourth
      was from the southern town of Antalya.

      He came up with the idea of a photo exhibition during the process of
      researching his family roots. He worked on the common plights of the
      Greek-Orthodox from Turkey and the Muslims from Greece equally diligently.
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