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Hellenes Abroad / Greece

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The Greek Foreign Ministry in an announcement issued yesterday expresses its “dismay”, because they were informed that “Greek and Christian monuments in Turkey are not receiving the care necessary for their protection”.

Specifically, the announcement states that cases of systematic looting and digging up of graves at a Byzantine cemetery in Caltaca region have recently come to light, due to the inadequate protection of the monument, despite the fact that it has been declared a protected archaeological site of the first degree.

A similar case is the tearing down of the walls of the Great Palace of Constantinople, in the Sultan Ahmed area, in order to build a hotel, despite the fact that this historical site had been designated a protected site of the first degree.

The Foreign Ministry also stress that, “the recent conversion of the historic Hagia Sophia basilica – which until recently operated as a museum – into a mosque, caused concern throughout the Christian world, which links the site closely with major moments in its history, including the first and seventh Ecumenical Synods.”

Moreover, it is stated that the Greek Foreign ministry “believe that the cultural monuments bequeathed by history and geography, regardless of their ethnic or religious identity, must receive protection and appropriate respect. Above all, this is a duty to future generations.”

The statement concludes stating “We hope that the Turkish authorities will take up these issues, proceeding to the necessary actions for the protection and preservation of the many Greek and Christian monuments within Turkish territory.”

Source: ANAMPA

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Hellenes Abroad / Greece

Voices & visions Melbourne, 09.02.2012