ANKARA – Turkey said since it owns the ancient Orthodox Church of Agia Sophia in Istanbul, that was turned into a mosque, it has the right to depict it as a Muslim religious site on passports.
Omer Celik, spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the church is on Turkish territory and that Greece has no say in the the matter, Greece’s SKAI TV reporting his reaction.
“It’s become something very nice, something right. I don’t understand why Greeks are interested in what is depicted in our passport. What is of interest, what concerns the Greeks depicting the mosque of Hagia Sophia located in the area of Turkey’s sovereignty?” he said.
This mentality really is strange,” he said, not mentioning it’s a church adorned to look like a mosque and he said that Erdogan’s idea to place Hagia Sophia as a mosque in passports is something “very beautiful and right.”
He added that, “We congratulate those who contributed to the depiction of the Hagia Sophia mosque in our passports. This does not concern the Greeks and they have no reason to react. They had done the same thing when we had opened Hagia Sophia as a mosque. This is not about Greece , Hagia Sophia is in the area of our sovereignty,” he added.