Selin ATAY-TDO- Greece condemned the burning of the Turkish flag during protests in Thessaloniki a day earlier against the reopening of the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, which served as a church for 916 years, a mosque for nearly 500 years and as a museum for 86 years.
“We categorically condemn any action that desecrates a national symbol of any country, in this case of Turkey,” Greece’s Foreign Ministry said in a tweet on Saturday.
The statement came shortly after Turkey slammed Greek authorities for showing their “hostility towards Islam and Turkey under the pretext of reacting to the opening of the Hagia Sophia Mosque to worship.”
“We strongly condemn hostile statements made by members of the Greek Government and Parliament provoking the public opinion and allowing the burning of our glorious flag in Thessaloniki,” Hami Aksoy, spokesman for Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, said.
“The spoiled children of Europe”, who cannot accept the reopening of the iconic architecture as a mosque, were "delirious" again”, spokesman for Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said.
A group of far-right Greek extremists burned Turkish flags late Friday in Thessaloniki to protest the reopening of the Hagia Sophia Mosque for worship in Istanbul. Protesters were stopped outside the consulate by police forces but burned another Turkish flag and sang the Greek national anthem.