The AHEPAN - Fall 2016 - 8


AHEPA FAMILY NEWS

AHEPA Statement
on Hagia Sophia:
Turkey Must Meet Its
Responsibility to World
Heritage Convention
AHEPA issued a June 10, 2016 statement on the Turkish
government's decision to allow a daily reading from The
Koran during Ramadan in Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO
World Heritage Site:
"Hagia Sophia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as
a component of the Historic Areas of Istanbul. UNESCO
created the idea of World Heritage to protect sites of outstanding universal value. Indeed, Hagia Sophia's value is
universal and transcends religion. In addition to Orthodox
Christians and clergy, historians, artists and art historians,
architects, engineers, archeologists, academicians, authors
and journalists all appreciate and value Hagia Sophia.
"Turkey, as a State Party to the World Heritage
Convention, is expected to protect the World Heritage
values of the properties denoted as such, in this case,
Hagia Sophia. Also, UNESCO takes into consideration
the protection, management, authenticity and integrity
of properties as important parts of the criteria to designate a World Heritage Site.
"In making the decision to allow a daily reading
from The Koran during Ramadan in Hagia Sophia, the
Turkish government has failed on its commitment as a
State Party by diminishing Hagia Sophia's Christian and
Byzantine values, heritage and traditions; and it has
furthermore failed by not upholding and adhering to the
criteria expected of a State Party by UNESCO.
"With 15 properties on the World Heritage List,
Turkey has a responsibility to meet its commitment as
a State Party, and AHEPA asks UNESCO to intervene
immediately to resolve this misguided decision by the
Turkish government.
"Finally, AHEPA welcomes State Department Deputy
Spokesman Mark Toner's June 9 statement on the issue,
'We recognize Hagia Sophia as a site of extraordinary
significance and we would encourage Turkey to preserve
Hagia Sophia in a way that respects its tradition and also
its complex history.'"

8

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THE AHEPAN ยท Fall 2016

L-R: Remaining AHEPA Centennial Foundation Board Members PSG Tom
Rakus, Dr. Victor Polizos, Lou Zakas, Past Supreme Counselor William
Marianes and Dr. Pandeli "Lee" Dubertaki. Not pictured: PSP Steve Manta.

AHEPA Family Members
Commemorate 20th
Anniversary of Tribute
Sculpture Dedication
AHEPA family members gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary
of the dedication of the "Tribute to Olympism" Sculpture, June
4, Atlanta, Ga. The $775,000 sculpture, dedicated June 1, 1996,
stands in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park as a lasting legacy of
AHEPA and as a gift from the community to commemorate the
100th anniversary of the Olympic Games. Tribute's fan-like design
absorbed shrapnel during the Centennial Olympic Park bombing,
saving lives.
Pictured are the remaining board members of AHEPA Centennial
Foundation, Inc., who were able to attend the weekend's events,
which included a gathering of a large group at Centennial Park and
a dinner in celebration. The board members wore Hawaiian shirts
in honor and remembrance of the late Past Supreme President
Johnny N. Economy, who spearheaded the project as the foundation's president.

www.ahepa.org


http://www.ekathimerini.com/209483/article/ekathimerini/news/state-department-urges-turkey-to-respect-hagia-sophias-tradition-complex-history http://www.ekathimerini.com/209483/article/ekathimerini/news/state-department-urges-turkey-to-respect-hagia-sophias-tradition-complex-history http://www.ahepa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The AHEPAN - Fall 2016

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The AHEPAN - Fall 2016 - Intro
The AHEPAN - Fall 2016 - No label
The AHEPAN - Fall 2016 - 2
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