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The Parthenon Mosque

Reader comment on item: L'Institut d'Égypte – In Memoriam
in response to reader comment: Interesting perspective

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Dec 30, 2011 at 18:03

Kepha Hor wrote :

> Also, given that the Greek rebels had little respect for the Acropolis when they were fighting the Turks (probably, to a man, they considered their "real" capital to be Constantinople), I think that neither Britain nor Germany need apologize to Greece for what men like Lord Elgin and Heinrich Schliemann removed.<

I'd be thankful for explaining to me what is meant by "the Greek rebels had little respect for the Acropolis when they were fighting the Turks"? Are you implying that because the Acropolis was a strong Turkish fortress and the Parthenon was the city's main mosque the Greeks should show respect for the Acropolis as the Turks had shaped first refraining from capturing it and later from defending it against the Ottoman invaders?

Now to see what "respect" the Turks themselves showed let me quote an eyewitness who happened to visit Athens in 1827 , i.e. after it was finally recaptured by the Moslem army.

"On the left hand of the Illissus stands a pretty Greek chapel , but quite deserted and ruined : the poor fresco saints and virgins have been most dreadfully treated by the Moslem who seem to have enjoyed the pleasure of figuratively executing these objects of their detestation , by decapitating them all. We entered a desolate and ruined city through a gate having an inscription over it [Imp. Tit. Cae. Aug. Ael. Con. etc. etc ] We saw no inhabitants save the Turkish soldiery.The Greeks had all long since abandoned their Lares and Penates and fled to the mountains of Beoetia and Epirus.The houses were mostly burned and knocked down ; and the Turks seemed to live pretty much in the open air and under the shelter of a few planks which they had put together ; or in the mouldering and tottering bazaar where they had contrived to collect some few saleable articles and established a sort of commerce." Charles Colville Frankland , Travels to and from Constantinople in the years 1827-1828 , London 1829 ,v.1,p.302

Desecrating churches, disfiguring religious symbols and sacred images, plundering and burning down homes and then selling the swag on an ad hoc black market looks like traditional Moslem "respect" towards kafirs and their culture , doesn't it?

You write also about Greeks considering Constantinople as their capital. Well, if more than 1100 years of your both splendid and tragic written history has revolved around that city, how would you consider it ? A strategic outpost of the British empire against Orthodox Russia or a city of preference to bribe powerful Americans to allow more sales of the most advanced US weapons to Turkey and to conduct a more effective blackout and blockage of any conversations and proposals on the recognition of the Armenian or Greek genocide by America ?

As to apologies from Britain or Germany who do you think really needs or cares about them ? Britain has so long a record of lying, breaking promises and making insincere apologies that I'd rather discourage her to encumber it with another item. And Germany with its growing Turkish minority and sprawling mosques is also a dubious candidate for serious apologies , I am afraid.

Submitting....

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