LEADING NEWS SOURCE FOR TURKEY AND THE REGION

POLITICS > Turkey has 'nothing to learn' from Greece on religious freedoms

ISTANBUL

Print Page Send to friend »
The Greek Foreign Ministry expressed its anger recently upon learning that Turkish officials had issue statements on the possible conversion of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum into a mosque. Hürriyet Daily News photo by Emrah Gürel

The Greek Foreign Ministry expressed its anger recently upon learning that Turkish officials had issue statements on the possible conversion of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum into a mosque. Hürriyet Daily News photo by Emrah Gürel

Turkish Foreign Ministry released a statement yesterday in response to Greek anger over the possible conversion of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum into a mosque, saying Turkey had “nothing to learn from Greece concerning matters of freedom of religion.” 

The statement said successive Greek governments’ unfavorable treatment of Ottoman era cultural artifacts and places of worship was “well-known by all.” 

“Athens is the only European capital with no mosques open for worship despite its Muslim population, which has reached over hundreds of thousands of people,” it said. 

The Greek Foreign Ministry expressed its anger recently upon learning that Turkish officials had issue statements on the possible conversion of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum into a mosque.

Repeated statements from Turkish officials concerning the conversion of Byzantine Christian churches into mosques are insulting to the religious sensibilities of millions of Christians, as well as beingre actions that are anachronistic and incomprehensible, coming from a state that declares it wants to participate as a full member in the European Union, a fundamental principle of which is respect for religious freedom,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Nov. 18. 

The statement came days after Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç expressed his hope in seeing Hagia Sophia Museum be used as a mosque, having already called it the “Hagia Sophia Mosque” in speaking to reporters. 

The status of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, with a number of campaigns to open it for Muslim prayers having already been initiated, despite suggestions that this would be disrespectful to the building’s former life as a church.

November/20/2013

PRINTER FRIENDLY Send to friend »

MOST POPULAR

AcerPro S.I.P.A HTML & CSS Agency