An abandoned Christian church in Turkey has become a den for derelicts

Izmir, May 13, 2013

An historic Church in the Menemen region northwest of Izmir, where a large Greek Orthodox community had lived until the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1922, has become a den for criminals. After the tragic events of that time, the Greeks had to flee for their lives and leave everything they had.

An article published on May 5 in the Turkish newspaper Millet discussed the reasons for the sorry state of affairs. It reported that the Church of St. Constantine in Menemen, which has been restored in recent years because of its historic and cultural importance and to attract tourists—mainly descendants of the Greek emigrants—has been gradually left to ruin.

According to the author, the situation has become hopeless because drug addicts and other lawbreakers have begun disturbing local residents with the noise and disorder they make in the church. Therefore, a group representing local residents has approached the Mayor of Menemen, Tahir Sahin, of the opposition

Republican People's Party, asking him to take measures to stop the vandalism which takes place in the church every evening.

The residents also noted that the squatters have ruined all the restoration work that had recently been carried out in the church. In reply the Mayor promised that he would try to get the police to take measures and remove the drug addicts from the church. However, nothing has been done so far and the church is still a den for derelicts, reports

15 мая 2013 г.

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