Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once again been caught out lying to stoke ultra-nationalistic and ultra-religious fanaticism to discredit Greece in a speech he made yesterday.
“Hagia Sophia was beautified and presented to service of Muslims as a right of conquest. Other religious monuments were not touched,” he said, ignoring that they were all converted into mosques.
“However, our mosques and landmark monuments in territories that we had to leave a century ago were entirely destroyed very shortly after,” Erdoğan continued.
This of course is a vicious lie by the Turkish President to rile up religious fervor against Greece that could stoke Islamist’s to begin intensifying the already frequent attacks against churches in Turkey ‘in retaliation’ for the Greeks ‘destroying’ all the historical mosques.
His comments also ignore the fact that the indigenous Greeks in centuries past had the right to destroy the landmarks and monuments built by an expelled occupying colonial force, however many historical mosques exist to this day in Greece.
Among the many preserved mosques in Greece is the Çelebi Sultan Mehmed Mosque in Didymoteicho in Thrace built in 1420, the Fethiye and Aslan Pasha Mosques in Ioannina built in 1430 and 1618 respectively, the Mehmet Bey Mosque in Serres built in 1493, the Osman Shah Mosque in Trikala built in the 1550’s, the Yeni Mosque on Lesvos built in 1825, the Hamza Bey Mosque built in Thessaloniki in 1460, the Defterdar Mosque in Kos built in 1542 and the Suleymaniye Mosque in Rhodes built in 1522.
Last month alone there were three attacks against churches in Turkey, as reported by Greek City Times.
Turkey is once again on a U.S. State Department’s “Special Watch List” in the 2020 Annual Report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), as reported by Greek City Times. Turkey was the only country in NATO to be on the “Special Watch List” because “in 2019, religious freedom conditions in Turkey remained worrisome, with the perpetuation of restrictive and intrusive governmental policies on religious practice and a marked increase in incidents of vandalism and societal violence against religious minorities.”
Erdoğan’s rant also made mention of Athens. “Look at Athens, there is not even a single mosque of ours today. They were all completely destroyed,” Erdoğan said, omitting the Fethiye Mosque located in the Roman Agora, built in the 1600’s.
The Turkish president also omits the famous Tzistarakis Mosque built in 1759 and famous for being located in the historical and touristic Monastiraki district.
The video to his rant can be seen below.
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) May 31, 2020