The issue of Hagia Sophia is not a Greek-Turkish issue, nor a dispute between us, said Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on SKAI TV this morning.
“Hagia Sophia belongs neither to the Greeks nor to the Turks,” said Nikos Dendias adding that Hagia Sophia “is a world heritage monument, the ark of Christianity and Orthodoxy.”
The foreign minister also described Hagia Sophia as “the ark of the human spirit and its conquests” and added that “it is a huge benefit for Turkey that this monument is on its territory.” The minister described the intention to turn it into a Muslim mosque as “petty and senseless.”
“By converting Hagia Sophia into a monument, Kemal Atatürk wanted to bring Turkey closer to the Western world, serving the country’s well-intended interests,” said Nikos Dendias while adding that “Turkey’s interests are being served in the same way today.”
He recommended that the neighboring country “should maintain the current status of this major work of architecture, this incredible church.”