Written Question: Desecration of an Armenian monastery in occupied Pentadaktylos

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 8 April 2021

Question for written answer E-001888/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Costas Mavrides (S&D)

Subject: Desecration of an Armenian monastery in occupied Pentadaktylos

According to reports in the Cypriot press, a group of young people in the occupied northern territory of the Republic of Cyprus organised an electronic music party at the historic Armenian monastery of Sourp Magar, located in the area of Halefka forest in Turkish-occupied Pentadaktylos. The event was recorded and uploaded to YouTube on 7 April 2021. Sourp Magar is an 11th century Armenian monastery founded by the Coptic Orthodox Church in memory of Saint Makarios, and has huge religious and cultural significance. It is the most important place of worship and pilgrimage for Cyprus’ Armenian community and the only Armenian monastery in Cyprus. The continued illegal occupation and general persecution has meant that the monastery has been abandoned since 1974 and is in need of immediate protection, renovation and complete rehabilitation.

This case is yet another example of the situation facing churches in the occupied northern part of Cyprus, resulting from Turkey’s systematic policy and vassal regime of destroying Christian monuments and places of worship.

In the light of the above:

  1. Is the Commission aware of this particular incident, which suggests that religious places of worship are being disrespected and desecrated?
  2. What steps will it take to ensure that this monastery is protected and maintained, as required by the European funds management framework and based on recent information concerning the planned pilot project?
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