Turkey Condemns Orthodox Gravestone Desecration - Opinion
Turkey's foreign ministry has released a statement strongly condemning the desecration of many Greek Orthodox gravestones in Gökçeada on October 28th.
"Upon notification of the incident by the Gökçeada Metropolitan to the Public Prosecutor`s Office, an immediate investigation was launched in order to catch the perpetrators and bring them before justice," said the statement.
Necessary measures to prevent any recurrence of such an event are being taken by the relevant authorities, said the foreign ministry.
Turkey's stance on the incident is laudable and a welcome change to past indifference or hostility towards the treatment of minorities in the country. If the government sets such good examples from now on, it is a sign of hope that Turkey can make peace with communities it has been at war with for many centuries.
And yet, there is still so far to go. In Cyprus, there are several Greek Orthodox churches, monasteries and other monuments which are on the point of becoming ruins before their time. If they are not repaired, essential parts of a priceless cultural heritage that is of value to everyone will be lost.
Turkey's burgeoning public respect for other cultures should also extend to monuments in north Cyprus if it wants its press releases to be taken seriously.