Deplorable Collaboration of Archaeological Biblical Society with Turkish Occupation of Cyprus

Op-ed by Theodore Karakostas

My name is Theodore G. Karakostas and I have been reading your publication [of the Archaeological Biblical Society] for a few years now. It is my intention to unequivocally cancel my subscription in order to protest the blatant immorality of the Archeological Biblical Society which has without scruples or conscience become a blatant collaborator of the Turkish Republic, the great enemy and scourge of Eastern Christendom. It is simply intolerable that educated people and scholars particularly in a field such as biblical studies should blatantly violate the moral precepts of the Gospel by disregarding the human dignity and value of the Greek Cypriot Christian population which has been ethnically cleansed by the Turkish military occupation in the Northern part of Cyprus since 1974.

The Greek Cypriot population has been expelled from the occupied territories of Cyprus by means of murder, rape, and forcible expulsion. They are denied the right to return to their lands, henceforth the entry of members of your organization into those territories makes them collaborators and enablers with the Turkish occupation at a time when Greek Cypriots and their supporters have been struggling to fight Turkey and its powerful interests who have been working feverishly to win legitimacy for their military aggression and war crimes against the native Cypriot population and the Republic of Cyprus.

The Biblical Archeological Society should very well be aware of what has been transpiring in the occupied territories of Cyprus. Turkey's war on the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Churches of occupied Cyprus is notorious. Museums worldwide have been fully aware of the looting of Cypriot Churches and the sale of Byzantine religious art on the black market, and have scrupulously taken great pains to avoid benefiting from Turkey's war on the religious and cultural heritage of Cyprus. The Getty Museum in Los Angeles which contacted the Embassy of Cyprus during the 1980's after being presented with four very rare mosaics stolen from a Cypriot Church by an "art dealer" is a case in point.

By entering the occupied territories of Cyprus, the Biblical Archeological Society has violated the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, transgressed the rights of the citizens of Cyprus, and has furthermore insulted and denigrated the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus which has long publicized the Turkish war on Cypriot Christianity. Your trip is an affront and an attack on fellow Christians and makes a mockery of the teachings of Jesus in the Holy Gospel.

The scholarly and academic credentials of the Society does not absolve them from moral and legal considerations.Your organization can rightfully be seen as a blatantly politicized organization, and opposition protests must rightfully be expressed.

Theodore G. Karakostas

(Posting date 10 January 2013)

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