“We do not want to militarize our diplomatic disputes, but we are determined to defend our national rights when they are violated,” Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said in an interview earlier in the day on Real Fm.
Mr. Varvitsiotis noted that any change in the status of Hagia Sophia, which is a world heritage monument cannot be accepted, neither can it acquire neo-Ottoman characteristics.
He even reminded that the monument has lost its religious character by the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk.
Such an action, he said, would lead to further isolation of Turkey reagrding the Council of Europe too, in which it also participates, and whose presidency Greece has for the next six months.
Concerning Turkish press reports linking the Ecumenical Patriarch to the Gülen movement, the alternate minister said Patriarch Bartholomew was a world religious leader and that any insult to his face would in no way help Turkey’s image, which wants to appear as a secular state that respects religious freedoms.