Turkey Wipes Out the Christian Culture of Occupied Cyprus

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After Turkey invaded and occupied northern Cyprus, ancient mosaics were stolen from the Church of Panagia Kanakaria (pictured), which is located in the Turkish-occupied zone. The mosaics were later discovered in the United States and returned to Cyprus in 1989. (Image source: Julian Nitzsche/Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • “Turkey has been committing two major international crimes against Cyprus. It has invaded and divided a small, weak but modern and independent European state… Turkey has also changed the demographic character of the island and has devoted itself to the systematic destruction and obliteration of the cultural heritage of the areas under its military control.” — from “The Loss of a Civilization: Destruction of cultural heritage in occupied Cyprus.”
  • More than 550 Greek Orthodox churches, chapels and monasteries located in towns and villages of the occupied areas, have been pillaged, deliberately vandalized and, in some cases, demolished. Many Christian places of worship have been converted into mosques, depots of the Turkish army, stockyards and hay barns.” — Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • “UNESCO considers the intentional destruction of cultural heritage a war crime.” — Artnet News, 2017.

A sixth-century mosaic of Saint Mark, stolen from a church after Turkey’s military invaded Cyprus in 1974, was recently recovered in a Monaco apartment and returned to Cypriot officials. The ancient masterpiece was described by Arthur Brand, the Dutch investigator who located it, as “one of the last and most beautiful examples of art from the early Byzantine era.” Continue reading

U.S. Announces Withdrawal From UNESCO, Cites ‘Anti-Israel Bias’

Irina Bokova, UNESCO / Getty Images

Irina Bokova, UNESCO / Getty Images

 

As part of the decision, the U.S. notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of its intent to withdraw and become a permanent observer of the body instead.

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UNESCO Wants to Stop Archaeology in Ancient Jerusalem

Note: For documentation purposes, the article will remain here in its entirety.

 

Caption: Al-Aqsa Mosque (iStock.com/rglinsky)

 

In a series of resolutions, UNESCO has threatened the future of archaeological discovery in one of the world’s most important cities.

Often while working just below the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount over the past few years, I’d look up from the dirt and notice a camera crew setting up. They did not seem to be Jews, but rather reporters from Palestinian news crews. Unlike most others who walked past the dig site, these journalists would rarely ask questions about what we were finding or what we were doing digging there. Instead, they would simply set up their cameras in a particular location. There, with one simple pan upward, they could tape the excavation site along with the black dome of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the background. After a few more minutes and a few more shots, they’d pack their gear and head back up the street. There wasn’t any need to ask questions or to investigate further; they already had their story: The Jews are trying to undermine Al-Aqsa. Continue reading

The Temple Mount and UNESCO

You do not have to be a historian to know that Jerusalem was originally a Jewish city with, later, Christian connections and, later still, weak Islamic connections. The second Jewish Temple, completed by King Herod in 19 BCE, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE (depicted at left in a 1626 painting by Nicolas Poussin). The current Aqsa Mosque (right) on the Temple Mount was first built in the year 705, seventy-three years after Muhammad’s death in 632, and rebuilt several times after earthquakes. (Images’ source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • The attempts to deny any ancient and ongoing Jewish presence in Jerusalem, to say there was never a first let alone a second Temple and that only Muslims have any right to the whole city, its shrines and historical monuments, have reached insane proportions.
  • Is this really what it boils down to? The Islamic State rules the international community? Including UNESCO?
  • The world is outraged when it sees the stones of Palmyra tumble, or other great monuments of human civilization turn to dust. But that same world is silent when the Palestinian Arabs and their supporters Islamise everything by calling into question the very presence of the Jewish people in the Holy Land.

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is known throughout the world for the many places it designates as World Heritage Sites. There are more than one thousand of these, distributed unequally in many countries, with Italy at the top, followed by China.

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Russians building army base at Syria’s Palmyra site

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Russian base seen in satellite photo. Photo: ASOR/DigiGlobe

 

Beirut: The Russian military is constructing a new army base in the central Syrian town of Palmyra, within the protected zone that holds the archaeological site listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site and without asking for permission from relevant authorities, an American heritage organisation and a top Syrian archaeologist said Tuesday.

The American School of Oriental Research’s Cultural Heritage Initiative posted pictures from the satellite imagery and analytics company DigitalGlobe that show the construction on the edge of the ancient site that was damaged by the Islamic State group, which held Palmyra for 10 months.

A UNESCO official said it was unclear whether the encampment was in a buffer zone to the archaeological site but said it does not form a threat to the historic area. Continue reading

Erdogan: Turkey has right to conduct operations in Syria, elsewhere to combat terror threats

“Turkey has every right to conduct operations in Syria and the places where terror organizations are nested with regards to the struggle against the threats that Turkey faces,” Erdogan said February 20, during the event “UNESCO City of Gastronomy: Gaziantep,” which was organized to celebrate the inclusion of Turkey’s southeastern province of Gaziantep on the list of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in the gastronomy category, Hurriyet Daily News reported. Continue reading

Leadership for Syria

BERLIN/DAMASCUS (Own report) – With impressive scholarship programs, the German government seeks to establish firm ties to the future elite of post-war Syria. Already last year the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs began to bring more than 200 selected Syrian students to Germany, within the “Leadership for Syria” program, to be instructed – alongside their academic studies – in advanced training in “governance,” organizational setup and similar courses. The program run by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) – the largest foreign program the organization has ever undertaken – has the declared objective of preparing “a select elite among Syria’s future leadership” for “active participation in organizing” post-war Syria. This assures Germany a wide range of channels for influence in Damascus over the next few decades. Berlin is also making efforts to sift out students from among the refugees arriving in Germany to be included in its efforts to gain influence. This would crystallize into Germany’s becoming the Syrian elite’s top European point of reference.

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