War of words over Hagia Sophia

War of words over Hagia Sophia

Greece and Turkey had another acrimonious exchange on Saturday over the conversion of the former church of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry denounced the reaction by political leaders in Greece on Friday after muslim prayers were read at the UNESCO Word Heritage site with the participation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It also condemned the burning of a Turkish flag, during a demonstration on the same day in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.

“Greece once again demonstrated its enmity towards Islam and Turkey with the excuse of reacting to Hagia Sophia Mosque being opened to prayers,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement on Saturday.

In response, Greece said “the international community of the 21st century is stunned to observe the religious and nationalist fanatic ramblings of today’s Turkey.”

Referring to the flag burning incident, the Greek Foreign Ministry condemned in the “strongest possible terms any act of insulting the national symbol of any country, in this case Turkey.”

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