Greek and Islamic culture are two figures immediately recognizable in the history of the Mediterranean basin, while contacts and interactions have created historical and cultural ties between the two cultures, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in a video message to a 2nd International Conference on Cultural Heritage, organized by the Institute of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens on “Hellenism and Islamic Culture. The positive aspects of the interaction and its prospects”.
Dendias noted that the richness of these historical and cultural experiences and religious traditions are the inspiration for a creative and peaceful coexistence, beneficial for all the peoples of the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
“These cultures today are endangered by extremist views, views that invoke anachronistic religious projects, reviving extinguished hatreds and rivalries,” he said, referring to the Turkish government’s decision to turn the mosque into two timeless symbols of coexistence of peoples, cultures, and religions, Hagia Sophia and Chora Church. Monuments that received, precisely for this symbolism, the designation of World Heritage Sites.
In fact, as he reminded, Turkey itself, with its own actions, had taken care to characterize these two monuments as museums.
“Today, however, they are cut off from this role. They are becoming an object of political exploitation, provoking hostilities and rivalries that faded many years ago”, the Foreign Minister pointed out.
“The richness of historical and cultural experiences and religious traditions can ensure the positive participation of all in the solution of modern problems and conflicts”, he underlined and added: “It can inspire a common vision, for a creative and peaceful coexistence, beneficial for all the peoples of the Mediterranean and the Middle East “.
“In the 21st century we are going through, no one is allowed to open the bags of Aeolus and for ideological reasons to cause destabilization of regions and states in the region”, concluded Dendias.