No: 71, 23 February 2021, Press Release Regarding The Ottoman Cemetery Discovered During A Construction Site In Simandra Village In Chalkidiki Province Of Greece

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 23.02.2021

Following the press reports on the discovery of Muslim cemetery from the Ottoman era during the construction of a gymnasium in the garden of a school in Simandra Village in Chalkidiki Province of Greece, the aforementioned village was visited by our Consulate General of Thessaloniki and also, immediate demarches were made to the local Greek authorities to request further information.

As a result of our initiatives, it was learnt that 201 tombs belonging to our ancestors were found in the said construction site, but the corpses were kept by the local authorities in the warehouse of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Chalcidice and Mount Athos without any notice to our country.

Upon these information, the Greek Ambassador to Ankara was summoned to our Ministry today (23 February) and the necessary demarches were made to the Greek Foreign Ministry by our Ambassador in Athens in order to request an explanation about the absence of notice to our country regarding the aforementioned tombs, the immediate cease of the contruction work at the site, the burial of the retained relics in accordance with Islamic beliefs and with a ceremony in the area where they had been found, and indication of the burial area as a Muslim cemetery.

Atatürk

Mehmet Vakur Erkul Ambassador
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