The decision adopted at the 44th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee concerning World Heritage Sites in Constantinople, in this case, the Hagia Sophia and the Chora Church, is considered satisfactory for Greece, as it meets its basic aspirations, report diplomatic sources.
This decision, as reported by iefimerida.gr, reflects, among other things, the deepest regret of the Committee for the lack of dialogue and relevant information of Turkey’s intentions to change the character of Hagia Sophia and the Chora Church, despite repeated calls on Turkey to comply with the instructions of the Unesco’s guidelines.
The decision expresses its deep concern about the consequences that these changes will have on the universal character of the two monuments and calls on Turkey to announce its intentions and enter into a dialogue before deciding on any other radical change concerning the two monuments.
Finally, the decision requires Turkey to submit to the World Heritage Center, by February 1, 2022, an updated report on the maintenance of the two monuments, in order to discuss the issue at the next Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
It is noted that in this Committee, in which 21 member states participate, Greece participates as an observer.
In this context, the Greek side and specifically the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in close coordination with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, carried out friendly strikes on the member states of this Committee in order to achieve on the one hand a positive word for our country, and on the other to counter similar efforts by Turkey, which also tried unsuccessfully to avoid adopting this word.
Egypt played a key role in our efforts. It is noted in this case that Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had discussed at length the issue with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Soukri and other ministers of countries friendly to Greece.