Turkish media on Friday reported that the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, has backed Turkey’s military action in northern Syria.
In a Hurriyet newspaper report, the senior clergyman apparently wrote to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wishing success for Turkey’s armed forces.
The letter reads; “As the tradition of our church, we are always praying for our state, the health of our leaders, and the welfare and happiness of our people.
“We have not forgotten about the hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced because of conflicts in our neighbors in the south, especially in Syria.
“It is our community’s wish that our nation develops rapidly in a confident environment with the end of the ill that is terror, which has affected all our citizens, but mostly our Kurdish citizens living in the southeast [of Turkey],” it added.
“The determined attitude of President Erdogan, who strictly rejects associating terrorism with a religion, is being reflected onto world opinion.
“We pray that you and the Turkish Armed Forces will achieve success and ‘Operation Olive Branch’ will bring peace to the area as its name promises,” it read.