CALLING ALL GREEKS (ethnic not social, but you can still participate)

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    Jun 23, 2009 7:54 PM GMT
    The European Union Parliament is pressuring the Turkish Government to restore Saint Sophia Cathedral from a museum into a Greek Orthodox Church. However the Parliament has set a requirement of 1.000.000 signatures on a petition before it makes this conversation a prerequisite for Turkey's admission into the European Union.

    I'm asking that you all sign the petition to allow one of the greatest churches ever build to be returned to it's original function. This is not a commendation of the Orthodox Church's stance on homosexuality, this is purely about architecture and the original intended use.

    Please go to the link bellow, sing the petition, and forward it onto everyone you can.

    ps. you don't even have to be greek. it would be wonderful if the member of realjock came out in support of this. it would mean a great deal to me.
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    Jun 23, 2009 7:57 PM GMT
    sorry, forgot the link

    http://www.hagiasophiablog.com

    there we go, icon_lol.gif
  • DCEric

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    Jun 24, 2009 1:01 AM GMT
    Why? Buildings get reused all the time. Second, why would the EU solicit signatures from around the world, when this would be something more relevant to EU citizens?

    /just askin'
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    Jun 24, 2009 1:42 AM GMT
    DCEric saidWhy? Buildings get reused all the time. Second, why would the EU solicit signatures from around the world, when this would be something more relevant to EU citizens?

    Because the Haghia Sophia is of incomparable religious and cultural significance to Greeks and other people of Eastern Orthodox culture. For a thousand years it was the seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople, the center of eastern Christianity, and the focal point of Greek cultural identity.
    The story is told that in the 8th century the Russians sent ambassadors to Rome, Baghdad, and Constantinople in search of the best religion for the new Russian state. So splendid was the Haghia Sophia, so magnificent the Byzantine liturgy, that the ambassadors were won over at once.

    (I'm not Greek, but in college studied Byzantine history and the Greek language).
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Jun 24, 2009 1:51 AM GMT
    ... that doesn't answer the question about why the EU is asking the world, instead of the EU.

    Then what about the priceless treasures of the British Museum? Does the Catholic Church get to take back the Dome of the Rock, they built it if I am not mistaken, before it was converted to a mosque? Hindus Angkor Wat, after all the Buddhists keep them out now?

    Its a fair question given that this, like every other action by a major group, sets president.
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    Jun 24, 2009 2:19 AM GMT
    DCEric said Does the Catholic Church get to take back the Dome of the Rock, they built it if I am not mistaken,

    The Dome of the Rock was built after the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem circa 640, although by Byzantine craftsmen.

    What sets the Haghia Sophia apart is its unique cultural significance to Greeks. It has no particular religious meaning to muslim Turks who have many other historic mosques built by them since they took Constantinople.
    Its return would set no precedent because it is in a cultural class by itself -- its only peer would be St. Peter's in Rome.
    The fate of the Haghia Sophia is important not just to residents of the EU but to anyone who cares about the Greek cultural inheritance.

  • DCEric

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    Jun 24, 2009 2:48 AM GMT
    Please understand, by the way, I am playing devils advocate. I want to understand what sets this issue apart, from other claims of rightful ownership, so forgive me if I sound insensitive.

    Is Turkey misusing the property in some way? Are they preventing Greeks from visiting it? What will the Greek Church do with the Haghia Sophia that is not currently being done? Are there enough adherents to the Greek Orthodox Church in Istanbul to set up a congregation? What happens if the Haghia Sophia changes hands?
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    Jun 24, 2009 3:06 AM GMT
    DCEric said Is Turkey misusing the property in some way? Are they preventing Greeks from visiting it? What will the Greek Church do with the Haghia Sophia that is not currently being done?

    Not being Greek, much less Orthodox, I can't answer these questions.
    But just try to imagine your most sacred place in the hands of those to whom it means nothing. The only thing that compares is the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem before the 1967 war.
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    Jun 24, 2009 7:39 AM GMT
    sadly there are very few greek orthodox in istanbul, the turkish government is heavily anti-orthodox. they even imposed a law that the ecumenical patriarch must be trukish born, they're trying to kill the seat of the second largest and oldest (though disputed with the catholics who's older) christian church.

    as for precedent, hinduism and buddhism can coexist within the same temple.

    the treasures in the bristish museum are also disputed, there is already a thread about the elgin marbles.

    the dome is purely muslim.

    the greek church would probably restore throne of the patriarch to the hagia sophia.

    as for the eu, well they like to make policies. if a nation, such as turkey, wants to join the eu, and it has it's benefits, the eu can really do what ever they want. this may be some way for them to ease the tension between greece and turkey so they'll get a invitation to join and be the first muslim country. the eu has also commented on turkey's human rights policies and wants it to be more liberalized to fall in place with the rest of europe. we'll see how that goes.
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    Jun 24, 2009 8:21 AM GMT
    I'm not sure you'll get many signatures here, but you got mine
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    Jun 24, 2009 9:16 AM GMT
    thank you rune and sxydrkhair

    two signatures are two closer to the goal.

    now if only we can get the rest of rj behind this cause.
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    Jun 24, 2009 11:17 AM GMT
    dude, you're so farrrrrrrrrr behind. icon_razz.gif
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    Jun 24, 2009 11:53 AM GMT
    I want Turkey to join the EU as an absolute priority. It is vital to the integrity of the EU that it is not a christian club and it is also hugely important that Europe supports a secular, rule of law, Muslim state.

    While demanding proper human rights for Kurds is essential for Turkish membership, I can't see that reconsecrating this cathedral is anything like as important.

    If this issue would hold back Turkish membership, then I don't support it.

    The European project is far, far, far, more important than intra-national and intra-relgious rivalry - that's the whole point of it.

    xin_180702040907352127094.jpg

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    Jun 24, 2009 4:14 PM GMT
    Lost_And_Found saidI want Turkey to join the EU as an absolute priority. It is vital to the integrity of the EU that it is not a christian club and it is also hugely important that Europe supports a secular, rule of law, Muslim state.

    While demanding proper human rights for Kurds is essential for Turkish membership, I can't see that reconsecrating this cathedral is anything like as important.

    If this issue would hold back Turkish membership, then I don't support it.

    The European project is far, far, far, more important than intra-national and intra-relgious rivalry - that's the whole point of it.

    xin_180702040907352127094.jpg



    it goes a bit beyond just having turkey in the eu. turkey and greece have been cultural enemies for centuries. and political enemies for about 200 years. this would be about helping the bridge the gap, more on the greek side since greece could block turkey's bid for the eu.
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    Jun 24, 2009 4:20 PM GMT
    I don't get why this is a functional solution to the problem. Perhaps a more symbolic move would have the museum celebrate the building's history as both a basilica and a mosque.

    From what I am reading now, it looks like the Government has removed the carpet's and plaster that have covered the Christian iconography. How freakin' sweet is that!
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    Jun 24, 2009 4:27 PM GMT
    it is, and it's a museum now. but i guess the eu just wants more, and more power over member and future member states.
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    Jun 24, 2009 4:57 PM GMT
    jackofheartsit goes a bit beyond just having turkey in the eu. turkey and greece have been cultural enemies for centuries. and political enemies for about 200 years. this would be about helping the bridge the gap, more on the greek side since greece could block turkey's bid for the eu.


    I think demanding the (re) opening of an enormous greek orthodox cathedral in the middle of istanbul is just another piece of tit for tat humiliation. European membership is the priority - because that project is designed to end nationalist conflict (Germany-France, Britain - Ireland).

    I've got one for you.... Westminster Abbey was Roman Catholic until the time of the reformation in England, does the vatican have a claim on it?

    westminster-abbey-1.jpg

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    Jun 24, 2009 5:06 PM GMT
    The churches must learn humility as well as teach it. ~George Bernard Shaw
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    Jun 24, 2009 5:34 PM GMT
    not so much does the vatican have claim on it, but do they express it. the orthodox have expressed the claim to the church since 1453, the fall of canstantinople.

    and it's not the church calling for the return, though i'm sure it the calls would be heard they would be made, it's the european parliament.

    and the eu started out as a commerce based group that has grown beyond that, not with the intention of easing centuries of traditional rivalries. it has done that, which is a good thing.

    the return of the church could be a humiliating thing, but i doubt that was the intention, it may just be a side effect.
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    Jun 24, 2009 5:44 PM GMT
    From what I can see, it looks like it is a petition TO the EU Parliament, not a petition FROM the EU Parliament. It is a Angeliki Papagika circulating a petition online to present to the Parliament with the hope of them taking action on it.

    Which means the EU will make no such request of Turkey. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 24, 2009 6:37 PM GMT
    Totally right munching zombie.
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    Jun 24, 2009 11:49 PM GMT
    And I was having such fun getting all het up about it.

    Oh by the way - Americans - I want my bridge back.

    This is London Bridge - exported brick by brick to Arizona.

    c_londonbridge.jpg


    (I'm joking)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 24, 2009 11:59 PM GMT
    ok, I signed it, but if I get a bunch of spam cause of this I'm kicking your greek ass, jack.

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    Jun 25, 2009 12:10 AM GMT
    I'd also quite like British sovereignty restored over the East Coast of America.

    Particularly New York.

    If that's OK guys....?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 25, 2009 12:35 AM GMT
    Lost_And_Found saidI'd also quite like British sovereignty restored over the East Coast of America.

    Particularly New York.

    If that's OK guys....?


    Get in line behind the Dutch and the Lenape.

    It would be nice if Hagia Sophia was restored to the Greek Orthodox Church but I don't really see it happening in the near future. It would be a smart offering on the part of Turkey to start closing the rift between them and Greece but there's still to much bad blood .