UNESCO and the European Union protects the heritage of peoples through the conventions that invite societies to preserve the traces of the passage of peoples on our planet, with their history and their contribution to civilization. The UNESCO Convention of 16th November, 1972 concerning the protection of world cultural heritage and the Convention of the Council of Europe dated 27th October, 2005 on the value of cultural heritage are emblematic documents in this field. This is why EveryOne Group and Coordinamento Sa Phrala are appealing to the local authorities of Fatih and Istanbul, as well as the Turkish institutions, to put a stop to the devastation of the Sulukule district, the only place in the world where there are traces of 1000 years of the history of the Roma community. After leaving India, the Roma people settled in the Anatolia region from where they spread to the rest of Europe. The presence of the Roma in Sulukule, in fact, dates back to the Byzantine period, while in the 16th Century the oldest Roma settlement in the world formed here, a settlement that has survived until the present day. However, in spite of Sulukule being declared a World Heritage Site and in spite of the international “Save Sulukule” campaign - that has been underway for two years - the institutions and local authorities have decided to transform this precious site into a modern area, moving the Roma community elsewhere and razing the ancient buildings to the ground. EveryOne Group, Them Romano and Coordinamento Sa Phrala are asking Unesco and the European Union to intervene and help to put a stop to this destruction. But first of all, they are appealing to the Turkish Government to preserve the world’s oldest Roma settlement and to help the Roma community in its restoration.
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