Greek Foreign and Culture Ministers slam decision to allow Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia to revert to a mosque

epa08452850 Imam Ferruh Mustuer prepares to recite the Koran, Islam’s holy book, at the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul, Turkey, 29 May 2020, during celebrations marking the 567th anniversary of the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans. EPA/ERDEM SAHIN

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias briefed fellow ministers in the European People’s Party (EPP) group on Friday of a Turkish court’s decision allowing the change of the iconic Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia from a museum into a mosque.

In a tweet, the minister said that the court decision announced by the Turkish president is a provocation to the global cultural heritage and to UNESCO, which has recognized the monument as such.

Dendias was attending a teleconference of EPP meeting ahead of the EU’s Council of Foreign Ministers on Monday.

Mendoni: Turkey’s decision to void Hagia Sophia’s museum status is ‘a blatant provocation’

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni on Friday said that τηε Turkish court’s decision is “a blatant provocation to the entire civilized world, a world that recognizes the unique value and universality of this monument.”

Commenting on the court decision which was announced on Friday by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the minister added that “the nationalism exhibited by President Erdogan is not his best adviser, and is driving his country back six centuries.”

She stressed that “just because a Turkish court succumbed, it does not mean that Hagia Sophia will lose its prestige and its universal message. President Erdogan has decided to culturally isolate Turkey.”

Source: ANA-MPA

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