Tuesday 17 October 2017
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Home arrow About Us arrow Embassy of Greece in Washington DC arrow News arrow Foreign Ministry spokesperson Efstratios Efthymiou’s response to a journalist’s question regarding today’s call to Muslim prayer within the space of the world monument of Hagia Sofia, in Istanbul

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Efstratios Efthymiou’s response to a journalist’s question regarding today’s call to Muslim prayer within the space of the world monument of Hagia Sofia, in Istanbul

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Efstratios Efthymiou stated the following in response to a journalist’s question regarding today’s call to Muslim prayer within the space of the world monument of Hagia Sofia, in Istanbul:

“We express our intense concern and discomfort at yet another step that undermines the nature of Hagia Sophia as a monument of global cultural heritage and that obviously is not compatible with the principles that should govern a modern, secular state.

We have repeatedly stressed, in a series of actions aimed at keeping states and international organs apprised, that the attempt to alter the use of Hagia Sophia – which UNESCO has designated a world heritage site -- from museum to mosque is an international issue. An issue of major importance that concerns the protection of the identity of a monument that belongs to global human culture.

This must be realized, first of all, by Turkey. We call on Turkey, once again, to adapt to the requirements of European culture and stop supporting anachronistic and incomprehensible activities. Turkey needs to show, at long last, the requisite respect for international law and the international obligations it has undertaken to respect all of the monuments – Christian and non-Christian – that are within its territory.”

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