Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios has sent a complaint to Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy in the wake of footage showing a DJ playing electronic music at the historic Monastery of Panagia Sumela in the mountainous Trabzon region, known among Greeks as Trapezounta.
In his letter, Vartholomaios describes the incident as an insult to the monument, a candidate for UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites, saying that granting permission for the event was “incompatible with its religious character and its history.”
The Greek Foreign Minister on Monday said the footage was “offensive” and “a desecration” of the monument. It also urged Turkish authorities “to do their utmost to prevent such acts from being repeated.”
Greek and Cypriot MEPs of the European People’s Party also submitted a parliamentary question to the Commission over the incident.
There has been no reaction from the Turkish authorities.
Founded in the 4th century, Sumela today operates as a museum administered by the Turkish Culture Ministry.