The decision of the executive power of the Republic of Turkey to revoke the museum status of the building of the historic Hagia Sophia temple and covnert it into a mosque was condemned by the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.).
The meeting of the International Secretariat, its presidents and the rapporteurs of its committees with members of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy from 20 states was held for the first time via teleconference call.
The statement issued after the meeting stressed that this act of the Turkish government “marks a shift towards the logic and practices of past centuries, which are not in line with the principles of the 21st century, aimed at peace and mutual understanding between religions and cultures.”
They also agreed that this decision is directly contrary to the history and value of this monument. This decision essentially means Turkey’s refusal to play the role of the guardian of this universal monument and of History. Trying to integrate it into its own interior plannings ultimately leads to interfaith tension.
They also call on international organizations, governments and authorities of all religions and denominations “to coordinate in an effort to persuade the Turkish leadership to overturn this completely wrong decision it made for Hagia Sophia.”