Explanations for his presence at the inauguration of the "Turkish Center" in New York, which was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, are given by the American Archbishop Elpidoforos.
In the aftermath of the reactions in both the Greek and Cypriot communities, but also in the Armenian community - with the ANCA responding with a particularly harsh statement - culminating in the cancellation of the meeting with President Nikos Anastasiadis, as a sign of dissatisfaction, Archbishop's circles They point out that Mr. Elpidoforos talks and will talk with officials of Turkey, like any other country, in the context of his efforts to support the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ecumenical Orthodoxy, world and regional peace and interfaith dialogue.
As they characteristically emphasize, he will take every opportunity given to him to vigorously support his interlocutors from all over the world - and especially Turkey - the institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the opening of the Theological School of Halki, the rights of the Greek Orthodox minority and the just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on United Nations resolutions calling for the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus.
It is noted that, during his presence at the inauguration of the "Turkish Center", the Archbishop of America reiterated the request for the reopening of the Halki Theological School, while sending a message for the religious freedom of minorities in Turkey.
"I congratulate President Erdogan on the inauguration of the Turkish Center (which he did) together with Secretary-General Guterres. "As always, I insist on the importance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the reopening of the Halki Theological School and the support of the rights of Turkey's religious minorities," he said in a Twitter post.
According to the same circles, this includes his participation in the inauguration of the building of the Turkish Permanent Representation to the UN, in which the UN Secretary General also participated.