BRUSSELS -- A Turkish court decision to allow the change in status of World Heritage Monument Hagia Sophia from a museum to a Muslim temple is "regrettable", EU External Action High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell said on Friday.
In a short statement, the EU's foreign affairs head said, "Hagia Sophia has a strong symbolic, historical and universal value. Turkey has developed a well-established tradition of cultural conservation as well as a recognised tradition of intellectual and cultural openness. The ruling by the Turkish Council of State to overturn one of modern Turkey's landmark decisions and President Erdogan's decision to place the monument under the management of the Religious Affairs Presidency, is regrettable. As a founding member of the Alliance of Civilisations, Turkey has committed to the promotion of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue and to fostering of tolerance and co-existence."