“Hagia Sophia is our property and we make the decisions,” Ankara said in a provocative statement, responding to US concerns over Hagia Sophia. They described as “tragicomedy” what was said in the State Department report, and called on the United States to mind “their own internal affairs” in terms of human rights in the wake of the assassination of George Floyd.
The announcement of the representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Hami Aksoy
“Hagia Sophia and Kariye Camii (Chora Monastery) are owned by Turkey, and any decision on them is a matter concerning Turkey’s internal affairs. The decisions made or will be taken are not responsibility of other countries. When Turkey’s steps to protect and improve religious freedoms are clear, it is a tragicomedy for the United States to try to disorientate world public opinion with its reports, as racism, anti-Semitism and opposition to Islam increase.”
Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu: Hagia Sophia is an issue of national sovereignty
For his part, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with NTV: “Hagia Sophia is not a matter of other countries. It is an issue of our national sovereignty. After the Fall, it became Ottoman property. Then it became a foundation (waqf) and in 1962 a decision was made that it could be a mosque. It is strange that some people discuss to whom St. Sophia and Constantinople belong, 567 years after the Fall. On July 2, the Supreme Court will decide and we will make a decision according to our national sovereignty. We will do what our people and the court say.”