The Greek Foreign Ministry said that there was an “irrational manifestation of religious and nationalist fanaticism in present-day Turkey”, responding to Ankara’s inflammatory statement about Hagia Sophia.
The full statement of the Greek Foreign Ministry in response to the provocative statement of Turkey is the following:
“The international community of the 21st century is astonished to see the irrational manifestation of religious and nationalist fanaticism in present-day Turkey. Such manifestations have been condemned and are unworthy of a response, while they expose internationally those who express and fuel such beliefs.”
The representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Hami Aksoy, deemed Greece as the spoiled child of Europe and accused our country of being against Islam: “Greece must wake up from the Byzantine dream it has not been able to wake up from for 567 years,” he said. The statement referred to the burning of a Turkish flag in Thessaloniki. He also said, “These racists, who have not learned their lesson from history, who disrespect our glorious flag, should remember their fate in the Aegean.”
However, the Greek Foreign Ministry has condemned the specific action, which happened during a demonstration against the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque: “Greece condemns in the most explicit manner any action that desecrates the national symbol of any country, in this case of Turkey,” the Greek Foreign Ministry posted on Twitter.
“Remember your fate in the Aegean”
Following the reactions of Greece for the conversion of Hagia Sofia into a mosque, the Turkish Foreign Ministry representative made a very provocative statement and, therefore, significantly accentuated the tensions between Turkey and Greece.
Moreover, the representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry initially condemned the reactions of the Greek government and highlighted, “The spoiled children of Europe can not accept that Hagia Sophia is now a mosque and that it will always be ours.” He then continued in the same provocative manner: “These racists, who (burnt the Turkish flag) have not learned their lesson from history.” “Those who disrespect our glorious flag should remember their fate in the Aegean.”
He also referred to the Muslim minority (the Turkish minority in Thrace, as it calls it) and said that there were many violations of their rights. He concluded, “Greece must wake up from the Byzantine dream it has not been able to wake up from for 567 years.”