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Turkey defends the Christian cultural heritage, Erdogan said

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country protects the cultural heritage of Christianity, citing as example the restoration of one of the world's oldest Orthodox monasteries of Panagia Sumela in Trabzon province.

"In Turkey there are many major cultural sites of world significance. The Sumela monastery is one of the symbols of our country. Here the traces of many civilizations. For years, we are working to maintain the monastery. We never sought to destroy these objects, on the contrary, tried to save them," - said Erdogan, speaking at a ceremony marking the completion of the second phase of the restoration of the monastery of Panagia Sumela. It has been broadcast on Twitter by the Turkish leader.

He added that considering the importance of Turkey to the objects of other religions, "no country in the West has no right" to say anything, referring to the negative reaction of a number of countries on the transformation to the mosque Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

"If we wanted to target symbols of other faiths, on the site Solely would have winds blowing. The fact that we restore such objects, is a concrete example that we protect civilizational values. For our Orthodox citizens already August 15 will be held in Sumela," said Erdogan.

Sumela - inactive Orthodox monastery of Orthodox Church of Constantinople, built at the end of IV - beginning of V century, is located in the province of Trabzon in North East Turkey. He is one of the oldest in the world and claims for inclusion in the world heritage list of UNESCO.