Turkey: Virgin Mary Fair in Imbros cancelled because of complaints
A traditional Greek fair dedicated to Virgin Mary in the island of Imbros (officially Gokceada), Turkey, was cancelled by the organizers after they had received information that some complaints about the fair were filed through the Turkish Presidency Communications Center (CIMER).
The fair, that was to begin on 15 August, was expected to attract hundreds of visitors from Greece and various parts of Turkey.
The organizer, Imbros Education and Culture Association, said in a statement:
"After we made all preparations for the fair and received permission from the Gokceada Governor's Office for the organization, we have unfortunately learned that several complaints were made against the fair. We want to state that we do not approve attempts to commercialize our fair that has been held collectively for centuries."
It was earlier announced by the association that all the income of the fair would be spent for educational purposes and for the needs of the Tepekoy neigfborhood that would host the fair.
The fair in Imbros is one of the two traditional Greek fairs that still continue to be held in Turkey. The other one is held in the island of Tenedos (officially Bozcaada).
Most Greek fairs have disappeared in the course of a century as the Greek culture to the east of the Aegean Sea faded out after Greek communities were wiped out through massacres and forced displacements during and after the Balkan Wars in 1910s and later after the foundation of the Turkish Republic.
The island of Imbros that had an ethnic Greek population of over 9,300 and only 99 Muslims in 1893, had only 420 Greeks left in 2018, while the Muslim population increased to 8983.