Dendias on Hagia Sophia: Turkey Has Offended the Global Community

ATHENS — Turkey "has offended the global community, regardless of nationality, past and religious beliefs," with its decision to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in an interview with Alpha TV earlier on Thursday.

"What Turkey is doing is completely contrary to the legal status of Unesco as regards monuments," he said, adding that the biggest trap Turkey could lead Greece into would be to turn the Hagia Sophia issue into a Greek-Turkish problem.

"We, not as Greeks, but as protectors of the monument, will move as we have the right, as every person on the planet has the right, to enjoy the cultural goods, to protect the monument and to mobilise the global community as much as possible. In reality, we are defending universal values," he said, adding that the Republic of Turkey had chosen to designate Hagia Sophia as a World Heritage Site and was bound by the regime for the protection of monuments.

Dendias announced that a meeting will be held next Wednesday at the foreign ministry with the Greek Ambassador to Unesco, with Culture Minister Lina Mendoni and other officials, in order to determine the country's next steps regarding the issue of Hagia Sophia, as a World Heritage monument.


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