Turkey government desecrates the Church of Agia Sophia
This is the second time in recent years that the Turkish government has converted a unique Christian church into a mosque
The Federation of Pontian Associations of Australia has called upon the Australian government and the international community to protect Anatolia's indigenous Christian heritage.
The announcement follows an incident two weeks ago where Muslim prayers were held in the 13th century Orthodox Church of the Holy Wisdom (Agia Sophia) in Istanbul, Turkey.
According to the Federation, this is the second time in recent years that the Turkish government has converted a unique Christian church into a mosque.
The first incident occurred in the Church of Agia Sophia in Nicaia, Bithynia, where the Seventh Ecumenical Council assembled in 787CE. The Federation has openly denounced the "desecration of another of the few remaining Christian places" in Pontos, the Black Sea region of Anatolia.
"Turkey cannot continue to desecrate Christian sites and expect to be treated as a European state," Federation President Nikolaos Chrissostomidis stated.
"How can we expect to build bridges when the Turkish government not only desecrates our most holy sites but continues relentlessly to deny the genocide of our people?"
The Turkish government's actions have also caused controversy among progressive academic circles in Turkey. Engin Akgiourek, Professor of Byzantine Art at the University of Istanbul, said that with this decision "the Erdogan government continued the Ottoman conquest of Trebizond", and shows "cultural diversity is not tolerated in Turkey".
The Federation and its members have urged Turkey to reverse their decision and prevent further damage to what is becoming a fragile relationship.
- Register Now
- The Hellenic Club brings the Greek Presidential Guard to Sydney
- WikiLeaks – in the face of betrayals they remain heroic, guarding a Thermopylae
- Hellenic community marches with the Anzacs who fought in Greece and Crete
- Nick Polites recalls his journey
- Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival returns
- Tasmania: the treasure island
- Eat like the Greeks
- Cruise ship with 200 Chinese passengers marks a first for Greek tourism
- The Greek National Guard touched by their Australian welcome
- The death of the 457 visa (FAQ)
- Greek Orthodox Bishop calls on Erdogan to denounce Islam and be baptised
- A Greek fish & chippery tops Herald Sun's crème de la crème
- Athens' little treasure adorning the heart of Plaka
- The world's most impressive building will be Greek
- Travelling to Greece? New Corinth-Patra highway finally open
- The nine Evzones in Australia next week
- The 19 best Greek islands according to international travel experts
- ISIS gunmen open fire at the St. Catherine monastery in Egypt
- 18 Greek establishments amongst the best restaurants in Australia
- Dimitrious Gargasoulas says he is 'the saviour'
The team has set its sights on winning three premierships in a row.
Forget the hype, because the young Frenchman is already burning through it.
Despite policy announcements and harsh rhetoric, Australia is not going to stop bringing in migrant workers anytime soon.
The UPSat is the first microsatellite based on open-source software to have been completely constructed in Greece.
Practitioners come highly qualified with services on offer at a competitive rate.
President of the American Hellenic Institute, Nick Larigakis shares his views on Greece's geostrategic positioning in the current political environment.
Fotis Kapetopoulos and his Easter paradox.
Launched in a partnership between Multicultural Arts Victoria and Chapter Kleio No 15 Daughters of Penelope of AHEPA.
New, much tighter visa regulations to be applied.
Representatives of four Greek islands have expressed concerns the wind parks will impact tourism.
Jews of Greece exhibition: An effort to educate younger generations and bring the fascinating stories of the Greek Jewish Holocaust survivors to light.
The soldiers of the Greek Presidential Guard will arrive on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of Anzac Day and the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Crete.
Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis says the company's move will create more jobs for Australia's tech sector.
25-year-old Evzonas Konstantinos Lousias speaks to Neos Kosmos.
Australian Biology of Ageing Conference in Sydney finds Greece's version of Mediterranean diet is the secret to longevity.
A short story by Dean Kalimniou.
City coach Michael Valkanis will be hoping this won't be his last final as coach of the club.
Rhodes' Old Town holds its secrets close - ancient stories of faith, conquest and resistance. Michael Sweet walks its timeworn monopati to reveal hidden treasures.