The Turkish government has made new provocative statements about Hagia Sophia.
In a televised interview, Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said that Hagia Sophia was a mosque and should be opened for prayer soon.
“We believe that what Mehmed the Conqueror inherited will happen. In fact, no one calls Hagia Sophia a museum. Hagia Sophia is a mosque. We believe that it must function as it actually did and be open to prayer. The necessary steps will be taken both at a judicial and administrative level for Hagia Sophia to open as a mosque,” he stated characteristically.
In an interview with the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that “this is a matter of sovereignty” and that “Greeks are interfering as if Constantinople and Hagia Sophia were in their own territory.”
“Athens cannot give us orders,” he said, “we will do nothing that we cannot explain.”
He stated that Sultan Mehmed of Constantinople turned Hagia Sophia into a mosque in 1453, “the documents of the foundation prove it,” he said.