“I did not want to contact the Ecumenical Patriarch because the Turks are monitoring our phones,” said Archbishop Chysostomos of Cyprus.
“The Ecumenical Patriarch lives in Turkey and we know very well that every little breath he takes annoys the Turks. That is why we must keep the Ecumenical Patriarch at a distance and not put him in a more difficult situation. This situation is delicate and we should not implicate him in it. We are fully aware of his mission and he has expressed his opinion on the issue of Hagia Sophia. It would be best for us to end the discussion here. Giving an answer is our business and ours alone, and, therefore, we must not implicate the Ecumenical Patriarch in any way,” Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus said on Friday afternoon, the 10th of July, following a meeting he had with the President of the Democratic Party, Nikolas Papadopoulos, on their initiative to collect signatures online regarding the issue of Hagia Sophia.
When he was asked about the initiative, the Archbishop stressed that he supported it and that in no case should Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew be involved in the situation. He also pointed out that he decided not to contact him on the matter.
Moreover, he spoke of Turkey’s action to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque, which, as he said, is a monument that has been respected for centuries and is not now respected by the Turks. “What the Turkish President is doing is, on the one hand, for domestic consumption and, on the other hand, for other purposes. But we will see what happens in the end, as everyone will be viewing Turkey with suspicion,” he said.