Turkish nationalism is secular. The threatening crowd may have had some Muslim adherents. My bet is
that most were secularists - detesting Islam as backwards and seeing the blessing of the water as
something Greek rather than Christian (which they would see as anti-Turkish and backwards).
No imams or muftis in that crowd.
The truth is that Turkey is a secular country. Regardless, Turkey is famous for its genocide... towards many different people. As Hitler so infamously stated when he decided to exterminate the Jews, "who today remembers the Armenians". Turkey is also hated by other Muslims, such as Syria... if one should ever wonder why Turkey has always had a close friendship with Israel.
On the Turkish side though, she knows that whatever land she has, originally belonged to others. In that sense, one cannot blame them for not wanting the head of a major religion, (such as the Orthodox Patriarch), based on their land.
Certainly we wouldn't want the 'head' Iman stationed in Washington DC. Of course Turkey doesn't accept that the Patriarch is the head of the Orthodox Church, but rather only leads the few Greeks that were left in Istanbul after the pogroms of the 1950's.
As for throwing them into the sea as Gaudior said, I always wondered what the Greeks intended to do with them, if their dreams of recapturing Asia Minor had ever come about. But it didn't, so instead the Greeks were thrown into the sea.
The only forseeable thing, would be for the Turks to become Christians, and had the Orthodox prayed for this, the original Ottoman Empire might have ceased to exist centuries ago.
As for the above quote, even though Turkey is a secular nation, their thoughts have been formed by a Muslim culture. To give one an idea of how different their thoughts are: At the time the Greeks were kicked out in 1923, the Turks kept the young girls and women, and then forced them to have children with Muslims. This way they could say and believe, that they themselves were the original inhabitants.
I recalled this when reading how the Jordanians were upset about Spain and wanted it back. They believe that they are the original 'Arian' inhabitants.
Somehow, I gather from this, and other things that I have heard, that Islam seems to be a religious/political system, where the individual doesn't really matter and that the Muslims should accept their'fate' in life, regardless of what it is, for the benefit and expansion of the state.
What is pathetic, is that they refuse to join the EU if Christianity is mentioned as the basis of Western civilization.