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Editorial

Don’t You Dare, Erdogan…

Turkey will decide – within the next two weeks – according to the Associated Press (AP), what it will do with the Aghia Sophia. It will decide whether to leave it as it is, a museum, or to turn it into a mosque. At the same time, a third idea is circulating: it will remain a museum, but will also be used as a Mosque, something similar to what is the case with the Blue Mosque.

It should be noted that in recent years Turkey has allowed the reading of the Koran in the Aghia Sophia, and Erdogan recently watched (electronically) the ‘Conqueror's Prayer’ being recited there on the anniversary of the fall of the City.

The decision will, in theory, be made by Turkey’s Supreme Court, but is there anyone that doubts that Erdogan will get what he wants?

First of all, Aghia Sophia should never have become a museum in 1934. Ataturk should have done the right thing and made it a church again.

It was a half measure, an unacceptable solution, which was obviously considered better than nothing from our perspective.

Now, the logical step after 86 years would be to restore the Aghia Sophia to its original use, that is, to turn it back into a church.

Let Turkey take a step forward. To go with the flow of history, society, culture, and not follow the path of regression. Enough!

It is very likely that Erdogan brought the issue of Aghia Sophia to the foreground for political reasons. To fire up his political base, which has been getting weaker. And, let me add, to supplement parallel anti-Greek and anti-Christian positions.

If this is the case, then he expects to have only political benefits. That he will not face any serious consequences.

Let us hope that such a shameful decision for Hellenism and Christianity will not proceed.

Let's hope that his crude political short-term interest will not prevail.

Let's hope he doesn't think it's enough for President Trump to have his back.

He cannot have forgotten that America has elections in November.

He cannot forget that every country needs a minimum of general international respect and acceptance.

Above all, however, he should be well aware from now on that the transformation of Aghia Sophia into a mosque will fully reveal to the naked eye – in combination with his ongoing challenges to Greek and Cypriot sovereignty – his aggressive plans against Greece. And secondly, he should be aware that Greece and Hellenism will not accept this with their arms crossed and that we will not be content with just appealing to the UN and UNESCO about this World Heritage Site.

It should be made clear that he will pay an appropriate price.

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