Photographs from archeological excavations in Turkey have been misused to manipulate that they were taken in North Macedonia and that according to the Prespa Agreement, the archeological sites in the country will be managed by Greek archaeologists. The truth is that neither the photos were taken in the country, nor is there such a provision in the Prespa Agreement
On November 12th, the Macedonian Coalition Facebook page posted photos of archeological excavations, claiming that “under the Prespa Agreement, archeological sites in Macedonia were given to Greek archaeologists for management.” that only now will it be seen what legal theft and export of Macedonian cultural heritage looks like, and the announcement ends with a curse addressed to Prime Minister Zaev.
The post has attracted a lot of attention on Facebook, given the large number of shares and interactions from users. That is why the public should know the truth, and that is that the published photos are not from archeological sites in North Macedonia, but are photos from a site in Turkey. The Directorate of Culture and Tourism of the city of Aydin in Turkey announced on November 8, 2020, that two sarcophagi were discovered near the ancient city of Aphrodisias, as a result of excavations carried out by the Aphrodite Museum.The Turkish media reported about this event, and in their articles you can see the photos that the Facebook page deliberately misused to disinform the Macedonian public, in order to cause dissatisfaction and mistrust in the benefits of the Prespa Agreement. Thus, the announcement also incites hatred towards neighboring Greece, and uses inappropriate language.
With the presented disinformation that according to the Prespa Agreement the archeological sites in the Republic of North Macedonia are allegedly given to the management of Greek archaeologists, the citizens are misled, and on top of that they are presented with an even darker scenario, that the Macedonian cultural heritage will be legally stolen and embroidered. Such manipulations are possible because not everyone has read the Prespa Agreement. However, there is no such provision in it.
Administered by five Australians, the Macedonian Coalition Facebook page is reportedly an NGO to protect the national interest of Macedonians around the world. However, it is obvious that its purpose is to incite discord among citizens, hate speech and mistrust in the institutions of the system.
This project was funded in part through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the implementers/authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government.