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People Were Furious That These Ancient Ruins Got Rented Out For A Private Event

The ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey have been the host of events before, but a recent picture of tables set up amid the famous site set people off.

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The ancient Greek city of Ephesus, which lies inside modern day Turkey, is a popular tourist locale and UNESCO World Heritage site that Turks regard with pride.

So when a local writer shared images of the site being bedecked with tables for a private event, the people of Turkey went off.

İnsanın aklı almıyor, Antik Efes Kenti'nde yemekli organizasyonlar yapılıyor, bir Allahın kulu çıkıp da n'apıyorsun… https://t.co/O2o8p327yR

"It makes no sense," Ducane Cundioglu wrote on Twitter. "They're doing catered events at the ancient city of Ephesus and not one person is speaking out against it. What a shame!"

Turkish Twitter absolutely blew up over the photos, which many regarded as an affront to the dignity of the site.

Asırlar öncesinden miras kalan Antik Efes Kenti'nde yemek organizasyonu... Paranız batsın.

"A catered event at a centuries old heritage the Ancient City of Ephesus...may you lose all your money."

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Soon the original picture began to spread with declarations that the event taking place was a wedding or, in some tellings, a circumcision ceremony.

MÖ 6000'de kurulan ve dünyanın 9. Harikası olan Efes Antik Kentini Kültür Bakanlığının sünnet düğünü için kiralandı… https://t.co/cXNEFKLWnw

"Did you know that the Ministry of Culture has rented out the Ancient City of Ephesus that was built in 6000 BC and is considered to be the 9th Wonder of the World for a circumcision celebration?"

"Can you imagine the city of Rome opening up the Coliseum for weddings?"

Roma Belediyesi'nin Coliseum'u düğün derneğe açtığını düşünebiliyor musunuz? https://t.co/u779XwG2tk

"The Ministry of Culture apparently rented out the Ancient City of Ephesus for a circumcision celebration. Man, even Apollo himself didn't get his child circumcised there. This is a first in history."

Kültür bakanlığı Efes Antik kentini sünnet düğünü için kiraya vermiş. Ulan Apollon çocuğunu orada sünnet ettirmedi be. Bu tarihte bir ilk.

Some on Twitter demanded that the Minister of Culture either step in to intervene or resign.

Tarihi mirasımız Efes Antik Kentte yemek organizasyonu yapılmasından Kültür Bakanının haberi yoksa müdahale etsin h… https://t.co/m21oUqneyx

"If the Minister of Culture does not know about catered events taking place at our historical heritage Ancient City of Ephesus, he should intervene. If he knew about it, he should RESIGN!"

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism released a statement to try to quell the flames, promising that things were less shady than they seemed.

Osman Orsal / Reuters

"Some news sites and social media have alleged that there are weddings being hosted in the Ancient City of Ephesus," the statement read. "Celebrations such as circumcision ceremonies, weddings, engagement and marriage ceremonies do not take place in the Ancient City of Ephesus." The statement also added that within the city, the Grand Amphitheater, the Odeon, Celsius Library, the Pier Street and the Pier Baths are open for limited cultural and touristic use.

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It...didn't exactly help. Especially since the photos were actually from an event on Tuesday for passengers of the Wind Star Cruise Ship.

Efes antik kentini Kendi vatandaşına 40 TL ücret ile ziyarete açar! Cruise gemilerine ise özel yemek verir Orada t… https://t.co/WWU7fLm8OJ

"They open the Ancient City of Ephesus to their own citizens for 40 Turkish Liras, but they host special dinners for cruise ships. History lies there, HISTORY."

"The company has paid the appropriate fees to the relevant arm of the Ministry," the ministry said of party's host, Sea Song Tours. They added that the decorations were resting on a concrete cover that had been there since 1978 and that the utmost care was taken not to disturb the site, the Celsius Library.

Efes'i açtıkları düğün değilmiş de toplantıymış, kokteylmiş. Yahu ne fark eder? Son yıllarda en çok aptal yerine konmaktan yıldım

"Oh so apparently it wasn't a wedding at Ephesus, but a meeting, a cocktail party. What difference does it make? I'm so tired to be taken for a fool the last couple of years"

Though to be fair, some were pretty rightly offended not by the site's rental, but how basic the decorations were.

Madem Efes'te dugun yapacak kadar yoldan ciktin bari uygun dekor sec. O örtuler nedir? Kardesler dugun salonu gibi. Zevkinize sıçam!

"If you're so far off that you're doing a wedding in Ephesus, might as well choose appropriate decorations. What are those tablecloths? It's like a cheap rental wedding space. I shit on your taste!"

Archeologists Association Izmir Branch Chief Assistant Professor Ahmet Uhri actually agrees with the ministry, saying in a post that events such as this have been happening for the past 40 years.

Roma İmparatorluğunun #SelcukBelediyesi,düğün ve sünnet salonu yapsın diye yaptırdığı tarihi Efes Celsus Kütüphanesi

"Ephesus Celsus Library that was built by the Roman Empire just so #SelcukBelediyesi [Selcuk Municipality, where Ephesus is located] can use it as a wedding salon"

Uhri has added that similar events have happened in other ancient sites as well, saying that these events are good for the promotion of Turkey.

Antik Efes Kenti'nde dugun yapacaktim agustosa kadar doluymus ya

"I too was going to host my wedding at the Ancient City of Ephesus but apparently it's booked until August"

However, he did agree that the table settings were just kind of tacky.

Şu fotoğrafı başka bir ülkede görmeniz olası değil. Yazıktır yahu koca efes siz düğün yapın diye mi onca sene ayakt… https://t.co/vOGnuWgrn2

"You can't see this photo in another country. It's a shame, did glorious Ephesus stay standing for centuries just so you can host a wedding there?! Shame"

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Contact Alp Ozcelik at alp.ozcelik@buzzfeed.com.

Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Hayes Brown at hayes.brown@buzzfeed.com.

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