The Georgian Patriarchate calls on the Turkish administration to be wise and not to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque, keeping the museum status of the building.
“Today it will be a wise step if Hagia Sophia remains a neutral space,” the Georgian Patriarchate said in a statement. The Georgian Orthodox Church is closely following the situation with the cathedral, the statement said.
In a situation “when humanity faces many global challenges, it is very important to keep and strengthen good relations between Christians and Muslims,” the Georgian Patriarchate said. The statement says that the Georgian Orthodox Church respects Turkey’s sovereignty and hopes that Turkey will not take the position of the Georgian Patriarchate as interference in its internal affairs, but will see it as an expression of the concerns of one of the oldest Orthodox churches.
The Byzantine architectural monument, which was built in the 6th century, acquired the status of a museum in 1935 on the orders of First Turkish President Ataturk and was put on the UNESCO World Heritage List.