Greek Orthodox leader opposes Turkey joining EU

 The head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Christodoulos, has criticised EU members who are in favour of Turkey's entry in the bloc. At a reception in Athens on Tuesday, attended by several representatives of the Brussels parliament, he said: "all leaders who favour Turkey's entry doubtless have their reasons", but they "have a geo-strategic concern" and "serve other interests" foreign to the European mentality. The Greek government has joined other European countries that favour welcoming Turkey, in spite of the fact that for more than 30 years, the Greek Orthodox church has been persecuted in the Turkish zone of Cyprus. The Metropolitan said that evidence from the island spoke of destroyed and not restored churches, of the theft of icons and sacred objects which are not investigated, and of the restrictions on freedom of worship. He said that in welcoming Turkey the EU risked depriving itself of fundamental values like "the Christian faith, classical culture, and the rule of law." He added: "We are moving far away from the spirit of the founders of Europe and it is not clear at all that the path followed by the current European leadership leads to its unity." Source: AsiaNews/BBC