Photographs shared on social media of the ancient Aegean city of Ephesus, a famous center of Greek and Roman culture, has created controversy as they depict preparations for a social event. One of the best preserved ancient cities in the country and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ephesus is home to the famous Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre, while there is nothing left of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World.
Some criticized the photos of what they believed was a preparation for a circumcision party. However, officials announced that no wedding, circumcision ceremony or other similar event was allowed in the Ephesus museum.
The only events allowed, after the necessary approvals from the museum and Culture Ministry, are to boost the tourism potential of the site, İzmir Provincial Culture Acting Director Kağan Erge said. It was also noted that the Culture Ministry's website listed who and under what conditions events can be held at historical sites.
"Firms engaged in tourism can hold limited dinners or cocktail parties at the site. Before every event, a contract is signed and everything is done under the supervision of a museum official," Erge said. Such events held at other historical sites have to conform to the same provisions, he added.