The German government has taken note of the decision of the Turkish Superior Court for administrative justice on Friday for Hagia Sophia “with sadness,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin today.
According to Deutsche Welle, Seibert, speaking at Monday’s government briefing, stressed that this church has a “huge” cultural, historical and religious significance, “both for Christianity and for Islam”.
It will not affect political relations
Speaking at the same briefing, the spokesman noted that Hagia Sophia has been part of the World Cultural Heritage since 1985 and that UNESCO should have been informed before a decision to convert it into a mosque had been taken.
“Unfortunately this was not taken into account. And that contributes to our sadness,” he said. At the same time, he made it clear that Berlin views the whole affair as a cultural issue: “When we talk about world heritage sites and their preservation, we seek to keep international politics out.” The issue of Hagia Sophia is a cultural issue and does not touch on “political relations or even the political confrontation between states.” As he assured, the issue does not leave the German government indifferent, which intends to discuss it with Turkey. At the same time, however, he clarified that Hagia Sophia will not be part of the “political” relations between the two countries.