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Vartholomaios says converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque would be against Turkey's interests

The highest spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I (l), is received by German President Joachim Gauck at Bellevue Palace in Berlin.

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios says converting Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, a former Greek Orthodox church whose structure dates to 537, into a mosque would be against Turkey’s interests.

“As a museum Hagia Sophia is now open to everyone. Indeed hundreds, even thousands, visit it every day. And Turkey receives big revenues from the tickets,” Vartholomaios, in Germany on an official visit, told Deutsche Welle.

“Turkey has no interest in upsetting its ties with the Christian world,” said Vartholomaios, adding that such a move would contradict the will of modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday May 14, 2014 (21:10)  
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