Greek PM condemns Turkey’s determination to convert Agia Sophia into mosque – Reuters

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FILE Picture: Greek Primary Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis takes component in a joint news convention with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna, Austria March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Image

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ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece condemned a final decision by Turkey on Friday to transform Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque, indicating it would have repercussions not only on relations amongst the two nations, but on Turkey’s ties with the European Union.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan mentioned on Friday that the to start with prayers would be held in Hagia Sophia on July 24, immediately after declaring the historical monument was once again a mosque next a courtroom ruling revoking its standing as a museum.

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Erdogan stated the nearly one,five hundred-yr-previous Hagia Sophia would continue being open up to Muslims, Christians and foreigners, but included that Turkey had exercised its sovereign suitable in changing it to a mosque and would interpret criticism of the go as an assault on its independence.

“Greece condemns in the most extreme method the decision of Turkey to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque. This is a choice which offends all those who also recognise the monument as a Environment Heritage Internet site. And of system it does not only impact relations involving Turkey and Greece, but its relations with the European Union,” Mitsotakis’s office claimed in a created statement.

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Previous Greek international minister Dora Bakoyannis and Mitsotakis’s sister tweeted that Erdogan experienced “crossed the Rubicon” with its choice, successfully shifting itself way from the Western globe.

UNESCO explained on Friday its Entire world Heritage Committee would evaluation Hagia Sophia’s standing and that Turkey’s decision lifted thoughts about the impact on its common value as a web site of significance transcending borders and generations.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and Renee Maltezou Creating by Michele Kambas Modifying by Nick Macfie

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