Serhat TUNAR -TDO- The Greek Foreign Ministry reacted to the reading of the Quran in Hagia Sophia on the anniversary of the conquest of Istanbul and issued a statement. The statement claimed that reading verses from the Koran in Hagia Sophia meant an insult to the religious sentiments of Christians. The statement continued as follows:
"Today, reading passages from the Qur'an inside Hagia Sophia, a global monument protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, which has functioned as a museum since 1935, is not only an unacceptable attempt to define it as a monument, but also an affront to the religious sentiments of Christians around the world.
This act is an insult to the international community and once again exposes Turkey. Turkey is obliged to respect both the convention for the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and Unesco, of which it is a member."
Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy, who answered a question asked about the issue, said: "after every reading of the Koran in Hagia Sophia, Greece continues to make statements that are futile and will have no consequences.
The fact that Greece, the only European country that does not have a mosque in its capital, is uncomfortable with the recitation of the Koran in Hagia Sophia is an example for understanding the psychology that this country is in at a time when the azans rose from the minarets in Europe and the importance of the principle of mutual respect is understood.
The efforts of the circles who tried to silence the adhan that had been recited in Western Thrace for centuries by using the excuse of the Kovid-19 epidemic are still fresh in the memory.
Turkey has not violated the monumental nature of Hagia Sophia worldwide nor the 1972 UNESCO Convention for the protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Thanks to the diligence and care Turkey has shown to Istanbul historical sites, which are an element of heritage, these works have reached today's generations.
Hagia Sophia will remain an important value of Turkey and humanity and will continue to be protected.
We call on Greece to be free of its historical complexes."