The Ecumenical Patriarchate under Patriarch Bartholomew and Greek–Turkish relations
This chapter aims to demonstrate the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s (EP) new international role, the change in its relations with the Turkish government, its place in Turkish–Greek relations and its new internal restructuring by examining the period of the current patriarch, Patriarch Bartholomew. Bartholomew’s period has been active and dynamic in terms of both external and internal relations. Bartholomew made important strides towards changing the image of the EP in the eyes of public opinion in 1996 when he met Fethullah Gulen, who had great religious and political power at the time. Addressing environmental problems gained the Patriarch considerable international prestige. Two different views arose in Turkish public opinion regarding the Patriarchate’s ecumenicity under Bartholomew. Bartholomew sees Turkey’s European Union membership as a guarantee for the future of the Patriarchate and the Greeks in Turkey and has emphasized this often in his statements.