That’s Islam. If its not the fast jihad, they do it little by little.
The BBC reported that the Pope visited the Blue Mosque in Istanbul as part of a three-day visit to Turkey. According to the BBC reporter, the Pope offered a moment of “silent prayer…next to the Grand Mufti.” The BBC man said that it was, “a moment of rich symbolism in terms of the inter-faith dialogue” that the Pope is trying to promote. (Enza Ferreri)
The BBC reports that the Christian population of Turkey has declined from 20% to 0.2% in the last 100 years. No, that’s not a typo. And it’s not an accident either.
“No country in the region – including Iran – is as homogenous in terms of Islam as Turkey,” says writer Cengiz Aktar. “It’s a mono-colour country – it’s a Muslim country.”
After the Turkish Republic was born in 1923, it carried out a “population exchange” with Greece to create more ethnic and religious consistency. More than a million Greeks were forced out of Turkey to Greece while around 300,000 Muslims from Greece were relocated here.
The Greeks of Istanbul were initially saved but after a crippling wealth tax, (jiziya-extortion) anti-Greek pogroms in 1955 and mass expulsions in 1964, the Greek community was left in tatters. And so was the Orthodox Christianity they practiced.
“The ethnic cleansing of these non-Muslim minorities was a huge brain drain,” says Mr Aktar, who has created a new exhibition on the loss of the Greeks here.
“It also meant the disappearance of the bourgeoisie because not only were they wealthy but they were artisans. Istanbul lost its entire Christian and Jewish heritage.”
It was not just the exodus of the Greeks that hit Christianity here.
Armenians were the other large Christian community. Hundreds of thousands were deported in 1915. They were either killed or died from starvation and disease. The label “genocide” is rejected by the Turkish state. From a population of two million Armenians, around 50,000 remain today.
“Most of the believers hide their cross inside their shirt. They can’t open it and walk freely on the street because they could prompt a reaction. I don’t want to say all the Turkish population is against Christianity but nationalism is so high that people are afraid to express themselves.”
That is now the worry among the Christian minority here: that Turkish Muslim nationalism has grown under the Islamist-rooted government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister for 11 years before being elected president last August.