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Orthodox patriarch eyes unity in visit with pope


Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of 250 million Orthodox Christians, says a meeting with Pope Francis in Jerusalem this month will help move the two churches closer to ending their nearly 1,000-year divide.

In an interview with The Associated Press in his Istanbul office, Bartholomew also praised Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for improving rights for Christians but said pointedly, “it is not enough.”

The meetings between the ecumenical patriarch and the leader of the world’s Roman Catholics on May 25-26 will commemorate the historic visit of their predecessors 50 years ago that launched a dialogue aimed at ending the two churches’ schism in 1054.

“We shall say through our meeting and our prayer that it is the intention of both of us to work further for Christian unity and reconciliation,” Bartholomew said, sitting at his desk piled high with papers in his Patriarchate office. Around him, golden icons from Byzantium on the walls loomed over standing photos of the patriarch greeting world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and Erdogan.

Although the Orthodox and Catholic churches remain estranged on key issues, including married clergy and the centralized power of the Vatican, there have been moves toward closer understanding, beginning with the 1964 meeting between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem. It was the first encounter between a pope and Orthodox patriarch in more than 500 years.

Following the meeting, mutual excommunication edicts were dropped, and a Catholic-Orthodox Joint Declaration of 1965 called for greater harmony.

Echoing that declaration, Bartholomew said the road to unity remains long, but that Pope Francis’s acceptance of the invitation to meet in Jerusalem demonstrates that both leaders want to end the divide.

“When it will take place, we don’t know; how it will take place, we don’t know. Only God knows,” he said.

The two leaders will hold a prayer service together at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the faithful believe Jesus was crucified and buried, and issue another declaration. Bartholomew said it had not been finalized.

In the interview, Bartholomew expressed disappointment that Erdogan had not re-opened the Theological School of Halki, the Orthodox Church’s most important seminary. Bartholomew spent seven years as a student and another four more as an assistant to the dean at the grounds on an island in the sea of Marmara. The school, whose doors were closed in 1971 under a Turkish law that required private higher education to be controlled by the state, have been meticulously maintained since, in case students are allowed to return.

Many expected that the seminary would be reopened last year as part of a package of reforms aimed at boosting minority rights in Turkey.

“These are hopes which are not fulfilled so far,” Bartholomew said. “It is a matter of human rights and especially of religious freedom.”

Erdogan has said Halki’s reopening depends on reciprocal measures from neighboring Greece that would improve the rights of Muslims there. Asked about that demand, Bartholomew threw up his hands.

“Are we responsible for that?” he asked. “I am in favor of a mosque and even more mosques where there are Muslims, in order to give them the possibility to pray according to their own faith. But what can I do?”

Bartholomew said that the issue is not about Greek law, it is about Turkey’s responsibility to protect religious freedom.

“I am a Turkish citizen and I was born here. I served in the Turkish army for two years,” he said. “I want my full rights as such as a Turkish citizen and not only for myself but for my church and my community.”

Later, he glanced over at a table near his desk with photos of Turkish President Abdullah Gul and his Greek counterpart, Antonis Samaras. There were images of a dove and of an olive tree, symbolizing peace between the two often warring cultures. Bartholomew credited Erdogan with improvements in rights for Christians in Turkey and noted that whereas ethnic Greeks once left Turkey in droves, many are returning, especially because of Greece’s financial turmoil.

“We recognize these steps. We express our gratitude to Mr. Erdogan. But we say that it is not enough,” he said.

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The Second Edition of Food ingredients Istanbul is Back with a Bang – a Show Twice as Big as the 2013 Edition!


Following the success of the 2013 edition, Food ingredients Istanbul 2014 promises to deliver:

A regional event targeting the Southern Europe, Middle East, CIS countries and North Africa
High-quality local, regional and international suppliers & distributors
A show twice as big as the 2013 edition and an extra hall addition
Bespoke features to emphasise innovation will include free-to-attend new product zones on the show floor and tasting sessions
Co-located with a high-level technical conference featuring opinion leaders from Government, Academia and Industry with workshops, round tables and plenary sessions
Exclusive association support from The Association of Food Additives and Ingredients Manufacturers (GIDAKAT)

Making the most of this sell-out event are many leading international market players such as Angel Yeast, Balchem Encapsulates, Camlin Fine Chemicals, DSM, MAFCO, Nutrilo and ISCAL Sugars as well as leading Turkish exhibitors such as Altinmarka, Rotel, Barentz, Halavet Akdem and Maysa Gida. Also among the leading Turkish companies attending is Aromsa; specialists in flavours, with halal certified cocoa extracts and a recently launched powder flavour Camarome®, which not only gives food a longer shelf life but improves the stability of food products.

The show has generated an unprecedented interest with a forecasted audience of more than 4,500 attendees. 200 exhibitors from across all five continents guarantees that Fi Istanbul will be a place for innovation featuring food ingredients, distributors as well as service providers for food & beverage professionals.

Kerim Alain Bertrand, General Manager UBM Istanbul said: “We are delighted to have established Fi Istanbul as the most complete platform to offer food and beverage manufacturers a place to engage with new suppliers and secure business in Turkey and the surrounding region. In addition, Fi Istanbul is a key part of the Food ingredients Global Portfolio strategy to extend our offerings into new regions, creating platforms for food professionals to engage with new suppliers and to meet their new business growth objectives.”

This B2B platform will shape the way ingredients are sourced in this market and is a chance for strategic partnerships to be kick-started in the region, as well as an opportunity to learn about the latest innovations through its conferences and educational sessions.

With interest in this region at an all time high, the organizers are encouraging food and beverage professionals to register for the show while visitor passes are still available. Registration is quick and free via http://www.fi-istanbul.com/register

To visit Fi Istanbul logon to: http://www.fi-istanbul.com

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Première Vision Joins Forces With CNR Holding for Istanbul DEBUT


The organiser of Première Vision has partnered with CNR Holding to launch an edition of the fashion trade show in Istanbul.

Première Vision Istanbul will be organised by a new company for the joint venture that will be 51 per cent controlled by Première Vision, and 49 per cent by CNR Holding.

The Turkish organiser and manager of the CNR Expo Istanbul exhibition centre will stage and co-organise the new event on 29-30 October.

“Indeed, with its overall economy projected to grow by four per cent by 2016, Turkey is today one of the most dynamic emerging countries, ideally situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia,” said a spokesman from Première Vision.

“It is also and above all an important player in the global fashion industry, thanks to a textile industry with a strong growth that is vertically integrated.”

The parties say that it will benefit from the strengths of both entities; the experience, reputation and legitimacy of Première Vision in terms of international textile industry players, as well as its fashion network and expertise, together with the event expertise and knowledge of the Turkish market provided by CNR Holding.

Première Vision is also organised in New York, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Moscow. The most recent edition took place in Paris in 2013 and attracted 62,932 visitors and 1,950 exhibitors.

Last year, Première Vision partnered with textile and fashion trade show organiser Eurovet for fashion shows in the French cities of Paris and Lille.

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