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Ambassador of Turkey Claims Karagkiozis Is Turkish Property

karagozis-turkish-ambassadorWith a letter addressed to the Greek newspaper “Proto Thema,” the Turkish ambassador in Athens raised a question concerning the nationality of Karagkiozis, a famous character in Greek shadow theater. Citing the decisions of two international organizations which he interprets in a very specific way, the ambassador denies the right of Greek people to one the most beloved figure of their culture.
The Turkish ambassador in Athens, Kerim Uras, stated that Karagkiozis as a figure of shadow theater is the intellectual property of Turkey, something that is certified by international organizations such as UNESCO and the European Court of Human Rights.
“The main characters, Karagoz and Hacivat carry all the traits and colors of Turkish humor and social values. This is a fact acknowledged by an official act of UNESCO. In 2009, UNESCO registered Karagoz as a form of shadow theater in Turkey and listed it as an ‘intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity from Turkey’,” he wrote.
Furthermore, “there is also a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights on the issue. The Court stated in a ruling regarding the ownership of Karagoz that it was ‘borrowed from the Turkish culture,” he added.
Finally, he concluded his letter mentioning that he was “sure that the Turkish character Karagoz would probably have found it amusing if he had known that he was so popular in Greece.”

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