A new, urgent appeal was submitted to the Commission “on the issue of Hagia Sophia, which since July 2020 Turkey was provocatively turned into a mosque, ignoring the international community and the historical character of the monument”, by the MEP Eliza Vozemberg -Vryonidis.
Vozemberg emphasized that, according to reports, visitors “face problems during their visit to Hagia Sophia, as due to the change of use of the monument they do not have access to some of the mosaics of the temple” and therefore asked the Commission – in cooperation with UNESCO – to react immediately to protect the character of Hagia Sophia as a World Heritage Site and Ecumenical Symbol of Orthodoxy.
Read below the full text:
“Turkey in July 2020, ignoring the concerns of UNESCO and the EU, as well as the internationally recognized character of Hagia Sophia as a historic site and a World Heritage Site, provocatively transformed it into a mosque. Today, according to French newspaper reports, visitors face problems visiting the Hagia Sophia due to the conversion of the use of the monument, as they do not have access to some of the mosaics of the temple, such as those of the Arch and the upper floor, which are covered by veils.
As the deadline set by UNESCO in Turkey to submit a report on the problems with the monument due to the conversion of its use expired on 1 February, the (European) Commission is asked:
* Has the Commission become aware of the above incidents that alter the character of Hagia Sophia?
“How does the Commission intend to react in cooperation with UNESCO in order to protect Hagia Sophia as a World Heritage Site and a World Symbol of Christianity?”