Greece, stokes fears of fallout

23 March 2017
707 Views

Police and the fire service in northern Greece were on Wednesday investigating the cause of a large fire that ripped through a 600-year-old Ottoman mosque in Didymoteicho in the early hours of the morning, causing extensive damage but no injuries.

The Bayezid Mosque, a cultural monument rather than a functioning prayer site, had been undergoing extension renovation work that had been on track to finish by the end of the year.

The fire destroyed the mosque’s unique wooden roof and melted a metal cover that had been placed over it for protection by restoration workers. The walls of the structure emerged unscathed from the blaze.

Experts indicated that the structure could be fixed but noted that the repairs would be costly and would take time.
The cause of the blaze remained unclear late last night. However, witnesses told Kathimerini that a smaller fire had broken out on Tuesday and had been put out.

Rumors that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was set to travel to Didymoteicho to inspect the damage to the historic mosque swirled around the town all day on Wednesday, but there was no indication that such a visit was on the cards.

The Turkish consul general in Komotini, Ali Riza Akinci, visited the remains of the mosque and took the opportunity to underline its religious and cultural significance. He added that his country was prepared to contribute to its renovation if its support is requested.
The Greek Foreign Ministry did not issue a formal statement about the fire at the mosque. However, according to sources, news about the fire fueled concern among diplomats.

Erdogan’s increasingly provocative stance and the polarized climate in Turkey ahead of a key referendum in April that he hopes will grant him further powers have fueled fears in Greece that the fire could prompt further aggressive rhetoric.

“Such an incident… must not be exploited for political reasons, whether that be by Turkey or anyone else,” government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said.

You may be interested

The first Aegean Hawk S-70 helicopter was delivered to the Hellenic Navy by Aeroservices
GREECE
shares15 views
GREECE
shares15 views

The first Aegean Hawk S-70 helicopter was delivered to the Hellenic Navy by Aeroservices

Panos - May 07, 2021

The first upgraded Aegean Hawk S-70 helicopter was delivered to the Hellenic Navy today, Thursday 6 May. The work on…

Foreigners looking to buy Greek property amid Covid-19 pandemic
FINANCE
shares26 views
FINANCE
shares26 views

Foreigners looking to buy Greek property amid Covid-19 pandemic

Panos - May 07, 2021

Despite the pandemic, the demand for a permanent holiday home in selected destinations in Greece by foreigners is on the…

Greek Taxisnet services not available for citizens over weekend
FINANCE
shares18 views
FINANCE
shares18 views

Greek Taxisnet services not available for citizens over weekend

Panos - May 07, 2021

Online services on the Taxisnet platform system will not be available to taxpayers over the weekend due to scheduled upgrading.…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.