A local municipality in Trabzon (northern Turkey) has ruled that architectural elements of houses which resemble crosses will not be tolerated, according to local news sources.
This decision follows an investigation which opened last December following complaints that the balconies of certain villas in the village resembled crosses. Photos show that houses had two levels and a cross shape divided the houses into four quadrants. Multiple complaints from primarily local Arab families led the houses to be destroyed on the basis of their architecture incorporating the cross.
Outraged has circulated on social media, but the situation is not unusual. In other locations, such as Gaziantep and Ankara, buildings have been renovated so that the cross-shaped architecture is no longer visible. The situation shows the extent to which any traces of Christian symbolism may be removed by communities. Although Turkey is technically a secular country, Islam remains the primary religion of its citizens.