August 01
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The decision of the Turkish court on the Hagia Sophia is a provocation to the civilized world, Khatimerini reported referring Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.

“Today’s decision, which came as a result of the political will of President (Tayyip) Erdogan, is an open provocation to the civilized world which recognises the unique value and ecumenical nature of the monument,” Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said in a statement.

According to the minister, Greece was not “trying to interfere in Turkey's domestic affairs,” however, Hagia Sophia is “a monument to all mankind, regardless of religion.”

“The nationalism shown by President Erdogan is not the right advisοr," she added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree on converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Reuters reported.

Erdogan shared on Twitter a copy of the decree he had signed according to which the decision had been taken to hand control of 'the Ayasofya Mosque, as it is known in Turkish, to the country’s religious directorate and reopen it for worship.'

A Turkish top administrative court ruled Friday in favor of a proposal to turn the Hagia Sophia museum back into a mosque.

According to Anadolu Agency, thus, the court annulled a 1934 presidential decree converting Hagia Sophia into a museum.

The Hagia Sophia was the Roman Empire's first Christian cathedral: it was converted from a Greek Orthodox cathedral to a mosque in 1453 and then became a museum in 1935.

UNESCO has earlier warned Turkey against turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque, calling for dialogue.

The Hagia Sophia is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.



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