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Do You Speak Corona? The Ecumenical Federation of Constantinopolitans found new means to its Social Solidarity program during the pandemic

The following article is the contribution of Nikolaos Ouzounoglou from the Ecumenical Federation of Constantinopolitans (EFC).


The Greek-Orthodox Minority of Istanbul is an expatriated community with 98% of its population living outside of their native land. Thus, they faced the COVID-19 pandemic in the  various countries their members are living.

In Greece the timely and prompt measures taken by the Hellenic Republic were successful for the benefit of all citizens and inhabitants in Greece. However many members of the expatriated community forced to live outside of their native city Istanbul are facing serious social and economic problems because of their deportation and expatriation have faced in the past. As a result of this EFC is realizing an extensive Social Solidarity program on a continuous basis. New means to continue this program were found during the pandemic such as guaranteeing those supported from EFC to have access to food and basic needs. Also sanitizing materials were distributed.

In Istanbul itself the pandemic also caused stress to the minority community. The Red Crescent of Turkey provided assistance to minority members. In New York the members of the minority faced stressful time because of the pandemic situation. 

During the pandemic period EFC has organized numerous internet seminars while on May 10, 2020 a Conference  on the history of epidemics in Istanbul and Greek-Orthodox Community was organized with the cooperation of EFC and Yenikoy Greek-Orthodox Community.

The research group of EFC during the pandemic developed a new method using a microwave radiation resonance phenomenon to compete with viruses, including COVID-19. The method is applicable both for decontamination of facilities as well could be used in the future as therapeutic modality. This new method was offered in May to Greek and Turkish authorities for the possible use to fight the pandemic.

During March-June 2020 FUEN has conducted a survey entitled Do You Speak Corona? on the situation of European minorities during the pandemic. The online questionnaire focused on the availability of information related to COVID-19 in general, healthcare information related to the outbreak, the existence of an emergency hotline operated in minority language and the availability of online education in minority language. The short report on the results is here and you can download the whole report in PDF format by clicking here.

This series of case studies is the continuation of the Do You Speak Corona? project.