Conversion of Greek church into mosque an act of ‘symbolic violence’


The Turkish government’s decision to convert the Chora Monastery into a mosque has been labelled an act of “symbolic violence” by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

The Byzantine Church of the Holy Savior in Chora in Istanbul was originally built in the 4th century, and was was comprehensively rebuilt around 1077-81. It was turned into the Kariye Museum after WWII and was evidently restored, then becoming a UNESCO world heritage site.

Η απόφαση του Προέδρου της Τουρκίας να μετατρέψει σε τέμενος, μετά την Αγία Σοφία, και τη Μονή της Χώρας, την μοναδική…

Posted by Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Friday, 28 August 2020

Sakellaropoulou says the conversion of the Church is also “an act dictated by political arrogance, cultural insecurity, religious intolerance that condemns a treasure of Christian art and cultural nobility to obscurity.”

The change in its status was passed in December 2019 but the decision of the State Council of Turkey had not been implemented until this month.

Read More: Turkish presidential decree declares Greek Orthodox Church to be converted into a mosque
Read More:
Archbishop Makarios responds to Turkish decree to convert Chora Monastery into a mosque

His Eminence Archbishop Makarios responded to the Turkish decree last week, saying it was a decision that “intensifies our frustration and concern”.

“The Turkish political leadership insists on following a path of disrespect for religious monuments of the Orthodox Church but also displays contempt for monuments that constitute a part of the world’s cultural heritage,” His Eminence said.

The Turkish government decree comes only a few months after the provocative decision to convert the historic Hagia Sophia church to a mosque.




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