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AHI Shares Piece on Turkey’s Destruction of Religious, Cultural Heritage in Occupied Cyprus

No. 73

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) would like to share with its audience a piece published by the Gatestone Institute, a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank, titled, “Turkey Wipes Out the Christian Culture of Occupied Cyprus” by Uzay Bulut.  The piece appeared November 25, 2018.

Among the entities Bulut cited for reporting on the destruction of cultural, religious and historic sites and monuments in Cyprus is the United States Library of Congress.  A report issued by the Library of Congress confirmed the destruction:

"Foreign archaeological teams that were engaged in excavations in Cyprus were forced to discontinue their work after the 1974 events. Their valuable findings have been looted and the teams have not been able to return and resume their excavations.

"According to some estimates, through illegal excavations in the northern part of Cyprus, more than 60,000 Cypriot artifacts have been stolen and exported abroad to be sold in auction houses or by art dealers. The example of an ancient site dating from Neolithic times at the Cape of St. Andreas illustrates this point. The site, which had already been excavated under the aegis of the Department of Archaeology prior to 1974, was later damaged by the Turkish armed forces during the installation and hoisting of the flags of Turkey and the 'TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus].'"

AHI brought Turkey’s destruction of Cyprus’ cultural and religious heritage to the forefront in a January 2010 seminar on the topic that featured experts from the U.S. Helsinki Commission and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.