There is a Greek element involved in the demonstrations in Taksim Square, Istanbul, associated with the Church of the Holy Trinity, Stavrodromi, which belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as well as a series of buildings that belong to the Greek hospital Valouklis, the demolition of which was announced by the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
The issue is cited in the newspaper Hurriyet, entitled “Will the Church come to the surface?” The article associates the issue with Erdogan’s latest statement saying that, “There will be works to open the space in front of the church in Taksim Square and the stores there before the church are going to be expropriated in order to show the church of the Holy Trinity. Also a mosque will be constructed in Taksim.”
Hurriyet also said that people’s interest has turned to the shops belonging to the Greek hospital Valouklis, and that is because the renting out of shops of charitable institutions, ranging between 10,000 and 100,000 liras, is one of the greatest revenues of the charitable foundation of the Valouklis hospital. Among the stores, except for fast food, there are grocery stores, optical shops etc. In total there are 25 shops. The rent of the smaller stores reaches 10,000 to 12,000 liras and these stores are a great source of revenue for the Valouklis hospital.