Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that he expects Greece to offer a concession for Ankara approving the reopening of the Halki Seminary near Istanbul -- which Turkey closed down in 1971 -- the Ekathimerini (Greek Daily) website reports today (October 6, 2013).
Erdogan suggested that in return for the seminary being allowed to function again, Greece should agree to the Muslim community in Thrace -- a province in northern Greece -- being allowed to appoint its own religious leader (mufti), rather than the government in Athens doing so.
"The Turkish government does not appoint the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios in Istanbul," said Erdogan. "The Greek community chooses its leader. Why, then, should the Greek government decide who should lead the Muslim community in western Thrace?"
Erdogan -- who is a fanatical Islamist as illustrated by the recent secular-oriented mass riots against him in Turkey -- also suggested that Ankara would be willing to reopen the Halki Seminary "within a minute" if Athens allowed two Ottoman mosques in Greece's capital to be rebuilt.