Turkey Builds 9,000 Mosques, Bans Orthodox Christian Liturgy

Moreover, the Turkish government does not recognize the title “the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople,” which represents 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.

“He has not been able to wield this title as he should,” said Flick. “And this is a historic title that's been around since the 6th century. He isn't referred to as ‘Ecumenical Patriarch’ within Turkey. The name is accepted overseas, but in Turkey he can't use that title, which was afforded by the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Another indication of Turkey’s discrimination against its Greek-speaking Orthodox citizens is the situation of the Halki seminary in Istanbul, or the Theological School of Halki, the main school of theology of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. It was closed by the Turkish state in 1971 and it has not been reopened.

The Turkish state has also confiscated much real estate belonging to Greek Orthodox Christians.

“Many properties have been lost over the past few decades, for example office buildings, orphanages and other institutions,” added Flick.

The Turkish Constitution, however, asserts that Turkey is “a secular and democratic republic that derives its sovereignty from the people.” And Turkish state authorities, for decades, boasted of “being the only truly secular country” in the Muslim world.

Today, many Turkish secularists are crying over what they think is the “defeat of Turkish secularism at the hands of the current Islamic government.”

What secular, democratic republic builds thousands of mosques with state funds -- taxpayer money -- while closing the Halki Seminary of the Eastern Orthodox Church and confiscating countless Christian properties?

What secular, democratic republic bans, for decades, liturgy on a day sacred to Orthodox Christians at a historic monastery?

Turkish secularists might choose to continue mourning over “the loss of Turkish secularism” or their loss of political power in Turkey. Unfortunately, they will not make any progress in understanding the fact that one of the root causes of the rise of political Islam is Turkey’s decades-long smokescreen of “secularism,” as Turkey has always been hostile to non-Muslims.