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Greece has not restored Ottoman-era buildings on its soil despite mutual agreement with Türkiye: Turkish expert

Greece's approach also concerns religious freedoms for its Turkish-Muslim citizens, says Neval Konuk from Marmara University in Istanbul

16:41 - 23/05/2024 Thursday
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File photo
File photo

Greece has not restored Ottoman-era buildings on its soil despite a mutual agreement with Türkiye, according to a prominent Turkish expert on cultural heritage.

Neval Konuk from Marmara University in Istanbul noted the agreement that was signed in 2010 between the two countries and told Anadolu that the Turkish municipality of Ayvalik fulfilled its obligation in the agreement by restoring three historical churches.

"However, the other part of the agreement, the Island of Lesbos, didn't restore three Ottoman-era mosques there since then," she said.

Konuk underlined the presence of numerous samples of Ottoman civil and military architecture, including fountains, schools, police stations and City Hall apart from mosques that need restoration.

She said Greece's policy on the state of Ottoman-era buildings also concerns its Turkish-Muslim citizens' freedom of religion.

As Türkiye restored 80 Greek-Orthodox churches, which now can be used by visiting tourists, most of whom are from Greece, Athens has not restored even a simple Ottoman fountain, said Konuk.

She stressed that a similar situation has been seen in Rhodes where 6,500 Turkish-Muslim citizens in Greece reside.

"It is only the Ibrahim Pasa Mosque that is open for the daily prayers there. And the Suleymaniye Mosque is open only during Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha," she said, adding that another major mosque in the Turkish community of the island, Murat Reis Mosque, was transformed into a music school.

#Greece
#Greek island of Lesbos
#Ottoman-Turkish heritage in Greece
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