The entrance to the historic Greek church in Turkey’s Tralleis (Turkish: Aydın) province has been blocked with a newly constructed wall, Greek City Times reports.
The church, located in Akbük village in Didima district, had the wall built by “unknown people” resulting in the closure of two entrances to the Greek Orthodox church.
The illegal building of the wall was announced by the head of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Tralleis province, Mehmet Ümit Tuncer.
He revealed that there are rumors that the Didima Municipality had put up the wall at the entrance door to be able to issue a license to serve alcohol in nearby restaurants.
By closing the entrances to the church with a wall, an attempt was made to circumvent the law that stipulates that there should be no functioning religious institutions 100 meters away from restaurants selling alcohol.
Tuncer said the department had reported the crime to the prosecutor’s office.
This church is included in the list of historic sites protected by the state.
The 200-year-old Greek Orthodox Church underwent restorations in 2007.
According to the source, workers during the restoration process found jugs, gold and copper chains, a ring and even human bones. They handed these artifacts to the site manager who took them home to try and sell them.
In 2018, a local news site reported that the church had been left in decay despite being supposedly restored in 2007.