Too Late, But Greece Will Make International Appeal for Aghia Sophia

July 23, 2020

ATHENS – With Turkey about to unveil the opening of the ancient Aghia Sophia in Constantinople as a mosque, and covering Christian mosaics during Muslim prayer services, Greece is working on a scheme for a response, seeking international aid.

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Culture Minister Lina Mendoni are going to set up a small working group which will come up with a plan by early August, said Kathimerini, although it wasn't said what they could do about it.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, continuing to taunt Greece with more provocations, ordered the transition of Aghia Sophia, which in 1934 was turned into a museum after being a mosque when the city fell to the Turks in 1453, into a mosque.

Turkey's highest court said it was his decision to make, indicating he is the rule of law in that country where he is jailing journalists and had purged civil society, the courts and military after a failed 2016 coup attempt against him.

“We have repeatedly stressed that the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque does not constitute a Greek-Turkish difference. However, of course, for us Greeks, this monument is of special importance and value,” Dendias said.

He added that “for this reason, we have decided to raise the issue through international initiatives that we will undertake, as European citizens and as citizens of the world community, talking to all international organizations and, of course, UNESCO,” reported the newspaper Kathimerini.

The meeting was attended by Greek Ambassador to UNESCO Maria Diamantopoulou, the chairwoman of the Greek National Commission for UNESCO Ekaterini Tzitzikosta and other officials.


ΑΤΗΕΝS - How many refugees and migrants arrived in Greece – or were rescued at sea trying to get there from Italy – is uncertain after two key ministers gave conficting numbers.

Top Stories


ANKARA - Turkey's swiveling between offering diplomacy or gunboats and demands that Greece take troops off its islands near Turkey's coast is roiling the waters between the countries and plans to hunt for energy.

United States

NEW YORK – Grammy-nominated artist Eric Alexandrakis announced his latest release due out on February 1, titled Good Girls Never Waltz With Me, another new genre-bending addition to his critically acclaimed TERRA series of releases.

General News

ATHENS – Five members of the World Hellenic Interparliamentary Association (WHIA), with Rhode Island State Senator Leonidas Raptakis as head of the group, visited Evros on January 12-13.


Despite Huge Volcano Blast, Tonga Avoids Widespread Disaster

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The blast from the volcano could be heard in Alaska, and the waves crossed the ocean to cause an oil spill and two drownings in Peru.