European Parliament member urges to protect Christian shrines in Turkey
A Greek MEP has called for the protection of Orthodox shrines in Turkey, reminding her colleagues that they are not only Europeans but also Christians.
The Vice-President of the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament and Member of the European Parliament of the New Democracy and the European People's Party, Ms Anna Michelle Asimakopoulou, asked the Plenary of the European Parliament for the protection of cultural heritage from the ongoing Turkish challenges, as reported by orthodoxianewsagency.gr.
Ms Asimakopoulou pointed out, once again, the complete lack of respect of the Turkish authorities for the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the greatest symbols of Christianity, citing the ongoing destruction it has suffered.
However, according to Ms Asimakopoulou, "it is not only the destruction of the marble floor, the walls or the historic imperial gate of the Temple and all this after its official transformation into a Mosque". Turkey, the deputy said, is purposefully destroying and desecrating Christian shrines and monuments.
Ms Asimakopoulou spoke of "the desecration of Panagia Soumela, the holy pilgrimage of the Pontic Greeks with disco parties and Hollywood movie shootings", and the conversion of the Monastery of Chora, an iconic Byzantine monument with a long history, into an Islamic mosque. Ms Asimakopoulou noted that this is "a permanent tactic of Turkey which is directed against Orthodox holy pilgrimages".
Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou stressed that such actions by Turkey insult our culture, tarnish and alter the principles and values of Christianity and Orthodoxy and undermine European identity.
" Today, in the face of these provocative actions, I ask from this stage your support to protect our cultural heritage, not only as Europeans but also as Christians," the Greek MP concluded her speech.
As the UOJ wrote, a 3D light show was staged over the Ayia-Sofia to commemorate the anniversary of the capture of Constantinople.