Qa-42, 30 May 2020, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question On The Statement Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of Greece, Regarding The Recital Of Holy Quran In Hagia Sophia.

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 30.05.2020

Greece continues to make futile and ineffective statements after each and every recitation of the Holy Quran in Hagia Sophia.

The fact that Greece, the only remaining European country without a mosque in its capital, is disturbed by the recital of the Holy Quran in Hagia Sophia is a case in point illustrating the intolerant psychology of this country, especially at a time when calls to prayer can be heard from minarets in Europe and the importance of principle of mutual respect is increasingly valued.

Moreover, the recent efforts of certain circles in Greece using Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext to silence call to prayer in Western Thrace which has been recited for centuries are still fresh in our memories.

Turkey has acted neither against the monumental status of Hagia Sophia, nor the 1972 UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. On the contrary, thanks to Turkey’s care and attention to the Historical Sites of Istanbul, these sites have survived for present generations as cultural heritages.

Hagia Sophia will remain as a significant treasure of Turkey and humanity, and will continue to be protected as such.

We invite Greece to free itself of its mindset deriving from history.

Ahmet Peyami Kalyoncu Consul General
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