The Kremlin hopes that Turkey, in its decision on the future of Hagia Sophia, will take into account that it is a World Heritage Site, but also considers that the decision on its future is an “internal affair of the Turkish Republic.”
“Undoubtedly, we hope, of course, that Hagia Sophia’s status as a World Heritage Site will be taken into account,” Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peshkov told reporters today.
“Of course it is one of the world’s favourite masterpieces for tourists visiting Turkey from all over the world, including tourists arriving from Russia, for whom, in addition to its touristic value, Hagia Sophia has a deep sacred spiritual value,” the spokesman of the Kremlin said and reiterated: “Of course, we anticipate that all this will be taken into account by our Turkish colleagues and partners.”
At the same time, Peshkov stressed that the Kremlin could not comment on Turkey’s own decision. “This is an internal affair of the Turkish Republic,” Peshkov said, noting that relevant statements were made by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Versinin.