Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Saturday received an honorary philosophy doctorate from the University of Cyprus in a first ever ceremony in Fener, Turkey.

UCY rector Tasos Christofides said the proclamation was “extremely important” for the university and noted that it is the first time that an academic ceremony took place in the patriarchal house in Istanbul.

During the ceremony, Christofides draped the Patriarch with the university’s cap and gown.

Then, he offered him a replica of a vase from the 1,700-1,600BC period from the Kythrea area.

The decision to nominate the ecumenical patriarch was taken in 2015 by the university’s senate and the council of the supreme academic institution after a recommendation by then classics and philosophy department professor Michalis Pieris. However, it was put on hold because the patriarch was unable to travel.

The proposal considered the patriarch’s origins, his academic studies, his pastoral work and his distinctions and his particular interest in modern Greek literature.

The event was accompanied by a performance from the University of Cyprus’ theatre workshop entitled Waters of Cyprus, Syria, and Egypt based on the poetry of Konstantinos Kavafis. The direction, selection and editing of texts belongs to the late professor Michalis Pieris.