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Greek FM condemns party in historic Izmir church Saint Voukolos (videos)

Greece’s Foreign Ministry condemned a party with electronic music and alcohol drinks inside the historic Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Voukolos in the city of Izmir on the coast of western Turkey.

The Church is being used as a venue for hosting cultural events by the Turkish Authorities and specifically the Izmir Municipality that gave the permission for the party.

Foreign Ministry statement

We unequivocally condemn the act of holding an electronic music party inside the historic Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Voukolos,” in Konak suburb of Izmir, which is presently used as a venue for hosting cultural events by the Turkish Authorities,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Organizing parties constitutes an insult and desecration of a historical monument that used to be a place of worship in the past.

We call on the Turkish government to take all the necessary action so that the appropriate respect for the cultural, historical, and religious heritage of all religions is ensured on its territory,” the Ministry statement concluded.

Worth noting that also Turkish-government-affiliated mass media criticized the party, however, primarily, because the city of Izmir is run by an opposition mayor of CHP.

Saint Voukolos Curch

Saint Voukolos was the first Bishop of Smyrna and the Church dedicated to him was build in 1886 by the Armenians of the Greek Orthodox faith.

Saint Voukolos Church.jpg

Saint Voukolos Church managed to survive the burning down of the city in the west coast of Turkey in 1922. When the Turkish coast was emptied from Greeks, the church was initially used as storage, later as a concert hall and later as archaeological museum.

It was severely damaged in a fire in 1990 and in 2003, it was given to the use of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality. It was restored 2008-2010 and the church building began to be used for cultural events; two of the four additions of the church were opened as the İzmir Journalists’ Association Press Museum, and Hanife Çetiner and Esin Yılmaz Memorial House.

On 17 August 2014, for the first time since 1922, a religious service was held at the church for the Assumption of Virgin Mary.

 

Organizing parties constitutes an insult and desecration of a historical monument that used to be a place of worship in the past.

We call on the Turkish government to take all the necessary action so that the appropriate respect for the cultural, historical, and religious heritage of all religions is ensured on its territory.

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