The Greek Foreign Ministry on Thursday issued a statement condemning the holding of Muslim prayers at Hagia Sophia in Istanbul on Wednesday night that was broadcast on television and attended by government officials.
“Hagia Sophia is a UNESCO world heritage site. The attempt to convert it into a mosque – through reading of the Koran, holding of prayers, and a number of other actions – is an affront to the international community, which needs to be duly mobilized and to react,” the ministry’s statement said.
“This is a clearly unacceptable challenge to the religious sentiments of Christians everywhere and to all those who honor humanity's cultural heritage, and it is taking place at a time when the interfaith dialogue should be promoted rather than undermined.
“We call on Turkey to conduct itself as a modern and democratic country, to protect the ecumenical nature of Hagia Sophia, and to respect the age-old tradition of this global monument,” the ministry added.