Thursday, August 1, 2013

Erasing Turkey's Christian Past

The Economist reports on the conversion of a historic 13th Byzantine church in Trabzon into a mosque.  Even in Islamic Turkey, the decision has prompted some concerns.  As the Economist notes,

The decision provoked surprising anger in a city notorious for its ultra-nationalist views. “It’s about erasing the Christian past, reviving Ottomanism,” says a local historian. “There are enough mosques in Trabzon, half of them empty, what was the need?” chimes in Zeki Bakar, a neighbourhood councillor. A lawsuit has been brought to undo the conversion.

One wonders if Haghia Sophia in Istanbul will be next.  And one has a right to ask, if Turkey will not respect its pre-Ottoman past why should other countries be so willing to repatriate pre-Ottoman artifacts to the country?

Update 8/15/13:  Here is another good article about the conversion of the church in Trabzon.


Wayne G. Sayles said...

kyri said...

i read about this at the time,seems to have gone under the radar of most coservationists but thanks for bringing it is a disgrace but this is nothing new from turkey,just look at what they did to northern organised campaign to erase not only christian places of worship but all traces of hellenism.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Further to Kyri's comments, here is an earlier post about destruction of churches in Cyprus: