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Emperor leads heads of state in condemning Hagia Sophia conversion

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I has led a group of seven heads of state in condemning the recent decision by Turkish President Erdoğan to convert the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

The statement, published yesterday, was also signed by Quentin I of the Holy Roman Empire and Wyvern, Aikaterini I of Imvrassia, Emmanuel I & II of Rhomania (formerly Mouzilo), Edward I of Ashukovo, Denis I of Vlasynia, and former Austenasian PM Lord Admiral Kennedy in his capacity as provisional head of state of New Virginia.

Hagia Sophia was built as a cathedral by the Emperor Justinian and completed in 537. It stood as the greatest cathedral in the world and the centre of the Orthodox Church for almost a thousand years, until the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in May 1453.

During the fall of the city, thousands of civilians and refugees took shelter in Hagia Sophia while a Liturgy was served. When the city fell, the Turks broke down the doors to the church and slaughtered, raped and enslaved those inside.

The Ottomans destroyed or plastered over the Christian elements of the church, and installed minarets and other features to convert the cathedral into a mosque.

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the abolition of the caliphate, Kemal Ataturk – the founder of modern Turkey – ordered Hagia Sophia to become a museum in a drive towards modernity and secularism. Archaeological and restorative work uncovered many of the Christian mosaics, and the building was open for all to appreciate its unique history.

Hagia Sophia was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

The decision of President Erdoğan to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque has been seen as a regressive move aimed at bolstering his support among Turkey’s Islamists, as well as intentionally insulting Turkey’s Orthodox neighbours in Europe.

Reports state that the building’s Christian mosaics will now be covered with screens and lighting effects, and that visitors will have to remove their shoes upon entry.

The action has immense significance for Orthodox Christians, for whom Hagia Sophia remains a building of intense spiritual importance. Many legends and prophecies concern the cathedral.

For example, one legend says that when the city fell to the Turks, the clergy paused the service they were conducting and vanished through a door on the south side of the church, where they await to complete the Liturgy. To this day the door has not been opened, and some say chanting can be heard from the other side.

Of more concern are prophecies by Orthodox saints of the past century which warn that the building becoming a mosque again will herald a war.

Regardless of any eschatological significance of this action, it remains one calculated to intentionally offend and belittle Turkey’s already victimised Christian minorities.

The statement published yesterday by Emperor Jonathan I and others is as follows:

It was with the utmost disgust and devastation that we learnt of the decision of the Turkish government to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. At a time when so many nations around the world are looking back at their history, critical of the colonialism and oppression of the past, the Republic of Turkey – a state built on the genocide and ethnic cleansing of its Greek, Armenian, Assyrian and Kurdish minorities – has chosen to continue to insult and attack the culture and history of the people whose land it took. This action, which is illegal under international law, has been denounced by UNESCO, by the EU, by the USA, and of course by Greece and by the Orthodox Church. Under the government of Erdogan, Turkey is becoming an Islamist rogue state and international pariah, and we condemn this action unreservedly. It is an intentional insult not only towards the Christian religion, but also towards all who descend from or value the Orthodox civilisation of the medieval Roman Empire. The whole civilised world has united in condemnation of this atrociously insulting act, but we may take consolation in the knowledge that despite Erdogan’s claims, Hagia Sophia does not belong to Turkey. Rather, it belongs to God, and may His will be done.

15 July 2020 (7528)

Emperor Jonathan I of the EMPIRE OF AUSTENASIA
Emperor Quentin I of the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE and KINGDOM OF WYVERN
Empress Aikaterini I of the EMPIRE OF IMVRASSIA
Basileus Emmanuel I & II of the BASILEIA OF THE ROMANS
Prince Edward I of the REPUBLIC OF ASHUKOVO
Sir Joseph Kennedy of the COMMONWEALTH OF NEW VIRGINIA
Despot Denis I of the DESPOTATE OF VLASYNIA

UPDATE 16 JULY 21:20 – Princess Hannah of Wildflower Meadows and King Ciprian of Juclandia have also expressed their explicit support for the statement.

MicroWorld Newsbites – August 2017

JUCLANDIA

  • On 23 August, constitutional amendments were implemented in Juclandia. The official name of the country was changed from the “Kingdom of Juclandia” to simply “Juclandia”, and the monarchy has become elected, with the King from henceforth to be elected every eight years.

MOLOSSIA

  • On 13 August, President Kevin Baugh officially dedicated the Molossian Friendship Gateway, a monument dedicated to inclusiveness and openness which has been under construction since January, funded by volunteers purchasing bricks with which to build it.

SEBORGA

  • On 20 August, Prince Marcello I was formally invested as Prince after being re-elected in April. The ceremony followed a religious procession, and the day finished with food and dancing.

USKOR

  • On 26 August, the Uskorian legislature voted to grant President Charlotte Lindstrom the title High Queen of Uskor. It is understood that this most recent incarnation of the Uskorian monarchy – Lindstrom having previously been a monarch under several different titles and regnal names – will be primarily a ceremonial and cultural institution.

MicroWorld Newsbites – July 2017

DELVERA

  • On 6 July, the Chamber of Deputies and the Concil of Governors confirmed Dylan Callahan as Consul and Casey Pemberton as President after both were elected as such the previous day.

FLANDRENSIS

  • On 30 July, the Grand Duchy announced they would no longer recognise forty two small states and micronations after they failed to reply to an “activity census”. However, this number accidentally included fully functioning states such as Juclandia and the Reylan Imperial Triumvirate, the governments of which failed to reply due to Flandrensis using outdated contact details.

JUCLANDIA

  • On 5 July, the Juclandian government announced that June 2018 will see the introduction of mandatory national service, “to ensure that all citizens enjoying full electoral rights go through basic defence training and other basic skills needed in case of catastrophe.” Citizens will serve nine months of national service, which will be spread out over three years so as to minimise its effect on the citizen’s personal life.

KUMANO JIRITSU

  • On 3 July, Hatsu Ryuho announced the dissolution of the Kumano Jiritsu Nation, admitting that out of the nation’s small population, he found it difficult to encourage people to be active within its government.

MOLOSSIA

  • On 23 July, the Molossian Navy conducted a voyage of exploration on nearby Lake Tahoe, investigating its natural and manmade features.
  • On 29 July, President Baugh announced the initiation of a new tourist policy due to overwhelming interest. From henceforth, visitors to the Molossian capital will only be permitted on certain prescheduled Saturdays, once each month during the tourist season.

WILDFLOWER MEADOWS

  • On 29 July, Princess Hannah recieved an official seal with which all government documents shall from now on be sealed with. The seal depicts the bouquet of flowers which is featured on the principality’s flag.

MicroWorld Newsbites – January 2017

CALSAHARA

  • On 24 January, Dictator for Life Travis McHenry – who formerly served as King Montague I from 2009 to 2014 – resigned as Calsahara’s head of government. The Calsarahan government is now entirely in the hands of McHenry’s son, King Nicholas. McHenry remains a Calsaharan military officer and webmaster of the nation’s website.

DELVERA

  • On 19 January, it was announced that a new Delveran colony founded in the American southwest had experienced success with crop growing.

GRAND UNIFIED MICRONATIONAL

  • 2 January saw the first Quorum of the new Chairman, King Adam I of Überstadt. Thomas Merrell of Zenrax was appointed Vice Chair, Bradley of Dullahan as Chief Justice, and Emperor Jonathan I as Archivist.

JUCLANDIA

  • After three years of relative diplomatic inactivity, Juclandia has announced that it will “take her head out of the sand” and engage with the international community of small nations, partially in an attempt to help combat a perceived drift towards far-right and far-left politics; “our culture, our values and our principles can help others moderate their own discourse”.

MERCIA/SANDUS

  • In the third week of January, Lord Spiritual Richard of Mercia and Sôgmô Will Soergel of Sandus met in Reykjavík, Iceland. The two leaders discussed matters of national importance and toured the local area.

MOLOSSIA

  • A new information sign has been erected at the Molossian border with the US. Previously, information brochures were available for passers-by to take, but these would often run out.
  • On 26 January, President Baugh of Molossia announced the construction of a Friendship Gateway in a symbolic gesture of opposition to plans for a US-Mexico border wall. The gateway is “to symbolise inclusiveness and openness”, and donors who buy a brick for the gate will have their names inscribed on a plaque.

ONGAL

  • On 25 January, the Principality of Ongal issued its first gold currency, golden Dukats made of 14 carat gold. The coins were issued in celebation of the marriage of a princess in the ruling family.

MicroWorld Newsbites – December 2016

DELVERA

  • On 19 December, the Delveran Ministry of State released a document claiming some half a million square miles of the United States of America around their territorial claims as a “sphere on influence” in which they claimed to have exclusive rights to cultural, military, political, and economic development and expansion along with the US, to the exclusion of any other small nations that may arise.

FLORENIA

  • On 23 December, King Eran passed a decree ordering the foreign ministry “to resume and expand the diplomatic efforts” of Florenia.

JUCLANDIA

  • On 20 December, the state owned media service Scânteia was transitioned into an independent news agency, Telenot, funded but not administered by the government. Reforms were also made to the nation’s public broadcasting service.

SANDUS

  • On 21 December, the five citizens of Sandus unanimously voted for the Sôgmô’s reign to continue in the annual solstice election.
  • Earlier today, Sôgmô Soergel added two new days to the already famously busy Sandum calendar; African Diaspora Recognition Day on 12 February to reflect on the effects of slavery and imperialism on African people around the world, and Religious Tolerance Day on 24 August to reflect on religious violence.

VIKESLAND

  • On 26 December, Vikesland was hit by a snowstorm which blocked the roads into the small country.

WILDFLOWER MEADOWS

  • On 25 December, Princess Hannah appointed her sister, the now Lady Stephanie, as Marchioness of Wandleside, the most recent territorial acquisition of Wildflower Meadows. Two days later, the neighbouring UK had set up security cameras around the Marquessate, although whether or not this was in response to the claim is yet to be seen.

MicroWorld Newsbites – August 2016

CAMPINIA

  • Duke Elias I, who has reigned over the Antarctic duchy of Campinia since 2013, abdicated yesterday in favour of Shady Morsi, who has become the fourth monarch of the sixteen year-old nation.
    • UPDATE: This has since been revealed to have been a misunderstanding. The Duke merely offered Morsi the position of head of government; the latter mistakenly interpreted this as an abdication, which he then publicised. The situation has now been resolved: Elias I reigns as Duke, with Shady Morsi as head of government.

JUCLANDIA

  • Juclandians celebrated eight years since the foundation of their state’s current incarnation on 23 August; this begun almost three weeks of celebrations, which will culminate on 10 September, the fifteenth anniversary of the original foundation of the country.

KUMANO JIRITSU

  • Hatsu Ryuho, the prime minister and founder of Kumano, nominated on 11 August his younger brother, Hatsu Aki, for head of state, after their father O-Hatsu Kenji-sama retired from the position last month. The National Senate met last week to discuss the nomination.

LEYLANDIISTAN & GURVATA

  • On 22 August, a National Dental Health Initiative was signed into law, aiming to promote positive dental hygiene amongst the population. The government will be distributing free dental supplies to citizens.
  • Two years since Leylandiistan and Gurvata unified into a single state were celebrated on 30 August, on which an announcement was made that a governmental plan for 2016 has, with four months of the year left to go, already been fully implemented.

SANDUS

  • On 18 August, Sôgmô Soergel appointed Jacob Valentine (né Tierney) as Minister of Diplomatic Affairs. The former Renasian premier is an experienced diplomat, as well as a long-standing and well-liked member of the MicroWiki community. This appointment comes after a steady decrease in the international standing of Sandus, with the state having recently lost diplomatic ties with former close friends such as Zealandia and with the Empire itself.

ÜBERSTADT

  • On 1 August, the King of Überstadt embarked on a naval voyage with Baron Ballinger, Vice Admiral of the Navy, conducting sea trials for a new amphibious warfare craft. The new boat has been named HMNS Duke of Edmount.

MicroWorld Newsbites – May 2016

FLANDRENSIS

  • On 9 May, Gwendolien de Loungville resigned from her post as Minister of Finances & Economy after completing the process of paying back all those who had invested money in the building of the nation, paying off the national debt.

JUCLANDIA

  • Over the last weekend of the month, the three political parties of Juclandia held their Congresses in the Palace of the Great National Assembly to elect a new President and General Secretary for each party. Furthermore, it has been announced via MicroWiki that a general election will be held in July or August later this year.

LEYLANDIISTAN & GURVATA

MOLOSSIA

  • President Baugh has set his nation a goal of having 200 tourists this year, to surpass the average of Nauru, the least-visited member state of the United Nations. As of 22 May, 42 tourists have so far visited Molossia in 2016.

SANDUS

  • On 22 May, Sogmo Gaius Soergel announced plans to gradually decentralise the currently absolute power of the monarch.
  • On 26 May, Sandus celebrated seven years since its foundation as Sandefreistikhan in 2009.

ÜBERSTADT

  • On 26 May, the king’s father was replaced as High Chancellor – top judge – by Terrah Perera, who King Adam I described as “thoughtful, studious, and articulate… [and] the most qualified Überstadti for this job.” The king’s father, Baron Ballinger, had to resign due to taking up a ministerial position incompatible with being High Chancellor.

WILDFLOWER MEADOWS

  • A new sovereign state, the Principality of Wildflower Meadows, has been founded by Emperor Jonathan I and his unmarried partner Princess Consort Hannah, the latter of whom now reigns as Princess of Wildflower Meadows. The principality claims land in and around the British city of Chester, and the Empire earlier today ratified a treaty of mutual recognition which also gave Wildflower Meadows the status of a protected state of Austenasia.

ZEALANDIA

  • On 22 May, a new Constitution was published, with Zealandia now a socialist commonwealth after its latest revolution last month. The new Zealandian Constitution can be read here.

The Emperor returns from Paris

Sir Sebastian Linden, Ciprian I, Jonathan I and Tom Turner (left to right) in front of the Arc de Triomph

Sir Sebastian Linden, Ciprian I, Jonathan I and Tom Turner (left to right) in front of the Arc de Triomph

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I has returned to the Imperial Residence after spending five days in Paris.

The 2013 Intermicronational Summit which he attended in Paris was also attended by representatives from Francisville, Juclandia, Rukora, Draega, Lostisland, Angyalistan, and the Formori Institute, with a total of nine delegates taking part.

The Emperor arrived in Paris on Monday 15th, the first day of the summit. He shared an apartment with Sir Sebastian Linden of Francisville and Pristinia, Tom Turner of Rukora, and Sir Daniel Morris of Draega and Lostisland.

The delegates staying in the apartment met most days with King Ciprian I of Juclandia, who was staying in Paris with his girlfriend and cousin. Representatives of Angyalistan and of the Formori Institute were also met on Thursday and Friday evening respectively.

The delegates used the five days there to take part in a great deal of discussion on relations between their nations, international politics, and the GUM. They also visited many Parisian landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral.

A new international residential summit is already being planned for July next year in Perugia, Italy.

2013 Intermicronational Summit begins in Paris

Left to right – King Ciprian I, Emperor Jonathan I, and Tom Turner, in Paris yesterday evening.

The third summit of politicians and diplomats involving a large number of members of the MicroWiki Community has begun in Paris.

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I arrived in Paris yesterday with Tom Turner, leader of Rukora and former Viceroy of Hookwood in the now-defunct Slinky Empyre. They later met with King Ciprian I of Juclandia and his nephew.

After eating at a restuarant near to the apartment at which the Emperor and Turner are staying, the group went to Mountmarte hill, from which a view of a large part of Paris can be seen.

Sir Sebastian Linden of Francisville will be arriving at the apartment Tuesday afternoon, and Sir Daniel Morris of Draega will be arriving Wednesday morning. Sogoln Yg Ysca of the Formori Institute has also expressed interest in meeting with the summit members at some point later in the week.

The summit will last until Saturday 20th, and follows on from the 2011 Intermicronational Summit in Hyde Park and the 2012 PoliNation Summit in Chelsea.

Crown Prince appointed Acting Chair of the GUM

HIH Crown Prince Jonathan has become Acting Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational in the midst of a controversy which has brought turmoil to the organisation.

Controversy over the expulsion of Sandus and Juclandia from the GUM at the turn of the New Year has continued unabated with frequent arguments having taken place until a few days ago over Facebook between Will Sörgel, leader of Sandus, and GUM Vice-Chair Bradley, Duke of Dullahan, who supported their expulsion.

Logs released by Haakon Lindstrom of Zealandia point to the expulsion of Sandus and Juclandia having been a calculated decision by Chairman Yaroslav Mar and the Vice-Chair made for political reasons. Some of the published logs show the GUM Security Council at first proposing to offer mediation to the frequent arguments, but Mar interrupting the discussion to propose Sandus be expelled.

Lindstrom claims that he was pressured into “removing Sandus and Juclandia as a sort of return for the votes in favour of my election as Secretary of the Security Council” by Mar and the Duke of Dullahan, who he states “did wrong and have to be held accountable”. It has been pointed out that Lindstrom also held grudges against the two expelled nations, but he has since apologised for what he called “disgraceful conduct” and resigned as Secretary of the Security Council.

This controversy has not stayed within the GUM. There has been a widespread loss of support for the organisation, with Renasia, Amager and Uberstadt withdrawing. Friday evening saw demands for early elections, and at 14:02 GMT earlier today Chairman Mar resigned, stating that he had “zero rights to remain” in office “after essentially betraying the Quorum of Delegates”.

In his resignation statement, Mar stated that he wished Crown Prince Jonathan, who was serving as Supreme Judge, to “pick up the baton” – the Duke of Dullahan automatically became Acting Chair upon Mar’s resignation, but resigned himself 46 minutes later.

Crown Prince Jonathan has thus become Acting Chair of the GUM. Quorum will be held tomorrow, in which a replacement Vice-Chair and Supreme Judge will be selected to support the Crown Prince during the rest of the term. Elections are due to be held in March, but it is possible that they may be called forward.

Crown Prince Jonathan has served two terms as Chair in the past, both widely regarded as highly succesful – the first saw a revision of the outdated original constitution and a large increase in membership and activity, and the second saw the only in-person Quorum meeting of the organisation’s history and a special 24 Hour Quorum which raised over £80 for various charities. The Crown Prince has stated that, “with the support and dedication” of member states, he will “attempt to oversee the restoration of respect and integrity to” the GUM.