The Halki Sanatorium, which has been closed for years, is being transformed into an Islamic training center.
It was the first pandemic hospital in the history of the Turkish state and now, according to the website duvarenglish.com, it is being transferred to the state Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet Foundation).
The Halki Sanatorium was housed in a historic building built in 1924 as a tuberculosis hospital, commissioned by Kemal Atatürk.
According to an article in in.gr, the Turkish Ministry of Health closed this structure, with a capacity of 600 beds, in 2005 on the grounds that access to the island of Halki was difficult and that the number of patients served there was extremely reduced.
The decision of the Erdogan government to turn the sanatorium into an Islamic educational center was condemned by the vice-president of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Umut Oran:
“Unfortunately, there is no wisdom and science in the fight against the coronavirus. Instead of using what already exists, the regime of the Justice and Development Party is destroying the existing structure and wasting money in the face of the pandemic and economic crisis of the century.”
Furthermore, no one can ignore the symbolism of this decision, which leads to the establishment of an islamic educational – religious institution in Halki, at a time when the homonymous Orthodox Theological School, which is also located on the island, continues to be closed since 1971.