GR US

Greece Welcomes UNESCO Statement on Hagia Sophia

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

ATHENS - Greek diplomatic sources on Friday welcomed a statement by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee expressing regret over Turkey's decision to turn the world monuments of Hagia Sophia and Chora Monastery into mosques.

The committee, meeting for the 44the session online from China, also expressed regret that Turkey's government ignored repeated calls by UNESCO to observe the guidelines of the organization on world heritage monuments. It also expressed its concern over the repercussions of these decisions on the monuments' global nature, and called on Turkey to reveal its intentions and join in dialog before any other radical change.

UNESCO also asked Turkey to table a report on the two monuments' maintenance by February 1, 2022 for discussion in the next World Heritage Committee meeting.