Thursday, May 5, 2011

Turkish Government Aims to Destroy Oldest Monastery in the World

Today there is a continuing legal process in effect, while the the over 1,600 year old Monastery fights for its bare survival.  by Marianne Bruckl.
The Threatened Monastery



(kreuz.net) On 26th of January 2011 the systematic dispossession of a Syrian-Orthodox Monastery -- built in the year 397 -- Mor Gabriel in Tur Abdin in south east Turkey began

Today the courts in Ankara gave the national treasury of the district town of Midyat and the Turkish forestry office a significant portion of the Monastery property.

Will the bell of Mor Gabriel be silenced forever? The hope of the Monks is dwindling.

First on the 26th of January the decision of the Supreme Court in Ankara hit like the crack of a whip.

24 Hectares of the Cloister propety would fall in the judgement for the national treasury of the district town Midyat -- irrespective of the documents which proved the Monasteries claims of ownership.
Click on the Slideshow with 14 Photos



The Second Blow

On the 20th of February the highest court in Ankara struck the Monastery with a second blow.

A further 27.6 Hectares of land within and outside of the Monastery wall were given to the office of forestry in Midyat.

A judgment which is a further consequence of an unfair legal process which is aimed on the state confiscation of the Christian heritage and dechristianization.

The Third Blow

The occupants fear the worst, that there will be still further cases filed against them.

So, Kuryakos Ergün -- who is the president of the Monastery foundation of Mor Gabriel -- must appear in front of the court yet again.

The complaint reads that the Monastery wall is not up to code and is built on state owned forest.

The question at present is the judgement of the highest court in Ankara for the destruction of the defensive wall.

One fears that Ergün will be punished.

The Deadly Blow

Despite the protests of European politicians, church respresentatives and human rights organizations against the arbitrariness of the process, Turkey remains intransigent.

The court decision of February 20th entitled the State to the outline of the Monastery wall.

It makes it clear that Turkey wants to drive the old established Christians out of the country.

Without a protective wall, the fruit and vegetable gardens carefully cultivated by the Monastery will be destroyed by herds of cattle which come from the surrounding Kurdish villages.

The surrender of the almost 1700 year old Monastery is an inevitability.

Thus the way would be clear for the Turks to assume one of the last witnesses of Christianity before the Islam.

They established themselves in Anatolia only in 622.

At the same time Turkey wants into the EU

Mor Gabriel is for the Christians in Southeast Anatolia a religious refuge, which up until now has drawn the faithful and tourists from all over the world.

If the Monastery is lost, then it is forseeable that the remaining Christians, who are about 2,500 - 3,000 Assyrians will also soon lose their homeland.

What is so strange is that the Turkish Premier Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was attempting to promote and strengthen the efforts of Turkey to enter the European Union.

He himself felt discriminated against in this instance -- he claims.

Erdogan criticized that it is against International Law to disallow Turks living in Germany of their national culture.

Actually these efforts, which have taken place in Germany, must also extend to protect Christians in Turkey.

If he attempts to prevent the dispossession of the Monastery of More Gabriel he could show, that his intentions are sincere.

He must protect the freedom of Christians in Turkey, to allow Aramaic language instruction and Christian religious instruction and allow priests to be educated.

Whoever seeks the recognition of human rights abroad, must promote them in his own land as well.

Because the protection of the rights of minorities, civil liberties and religious freedom is not a one way street.

It is a duty for everyone -- even for Erdogan.

Link to original, kreuz.net...

2 comments:

  1. I'm writing a letter to the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa about this situation. I've read about it before, it just seems criminal.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another piece of evidence that Islam is not a religion of peace. It is a violent religion that persecutes everyone else. May St. Gabriel protect this monastery.

    ReplyDelete

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