Greece reacts against party held at historic Orthodox church in Turkey’s İzmir

The Greek Foreign Ministry has slammed the act of holding a music party inside the historic Orthodox Church of Saint Voukolos in Turkey’s western province of İzmir, which is currently used as a venue for hosting cultural events.

Duvar English

Greece’s Foreign Ministry condemned Turkish authorities after a party was held at the historic Greek Orthodox Saint Voukolos Church in the Aegean İzmir province on June 4.

“We unequivocally condemn the act of holding an electronic music party inside the historic Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Voukolos in Izmir, which is presently used as a venue for hosting cultural events by the Turkish Authorities,” the Greek ministry’s statement read, adding that such an event constitutes an insult and desecration of a historical monument.

Following the release of images from the party on social media, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) İzmir provincial head Bilal Saygılı was also involved in the discussion, slamming the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality over the organization. He said that there needs to be “a limit” to such activities and that the church’s use was under the İzmir Metropolitan’s authority.

The municipality released a statement with regards to this issue, saying that the party in question had nothing to do with them and that they were “very sorry about the organization hurting the Greek Orthodox Community.”

“The İzmir Metropolitan Municipality sometimes allocates this place (the church) to paid and unpaid activities. One month ago (4 June evening), the organization held at the cultural center by a private firm under the name of ‘Youth Festival’ and with the application of no alcohol sales, was also authorized by the Konak governor’s office and police. It is not related to our municipality. An official report was penned on the grounds that it (the company) did not abide by the renting conditions and the company’s security deposit was not refunded,” the municipality said.