An imprisonment sentence was imposed by the Turkish Court of Princes’ Island against the Metropolitan of Moschonissia, Apostolos Daniilidis and a member of the Princes’ Island community, Vassilis Poridis, on the charge of illegal construction of a church in Chalki, according to the Turkish newspaper Sabah.
The sentence, according to Sabah, is on a five year suspension. It is also noted that the Metropolitan of Moschonissia will proceed to a refutation against the article, since it creates a false impression regarding the construction of the church, as the church has existed since 1832. It is the Church of Transfiguration, which around three years ago was demolished by the Turkish authorities, when the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceeded to make repair works. However, the Forest authority of the Princes’ Islands, declaring the land that the Church was built as a “forest area”, on the 13th of November 2007, ordered the demolition of the building and the contractors, hired by the Patriarchate, who had undertaken the restoration works of the Church, were prosecuted.
The governor of the Princes’ Islands, Mevlut Kurban, however, considering that the Church was property of the Patriarchate, denounced the previous decision which characterized the land as a “forest area”.
With regards to the restoration works, the church authorities in Halki have already received authorization by the Council of Monuments and Sites and authorization by the Municipality is pending, which is a standard procedure.