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Greece, EU condemn Turkey’s decision to convert Chora into mosque

The Greek Foreign Ministry described Turkey’s decision to convert the Monastery of Chora into a mosque as “another provocation against religious people everywhere in the world as well as against the international community that respects the monuments of the human civilization.”

“After Hagia Sophia and despite the international reaction, the character of another monument of UNESCO’s cultural heritage within the Turkish territory is now brutally insulted,” the statement added.

“Today’s decision of the Turkish authorities exposes again Turkey to the international community. It is totally condemnable,” The Foreign Ministry said and called on “Turkey to return to the 21st century of mutual respect, dialogue and understanding between civilizations.”

Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy of the EU, Nabilla Massrali, sharply criticized the convention of Chora into a mosque.

Asked by a reporter to comment on Turkey’s decision, Massrali said:

“We are recording the decision to convert the Monastery of Chora, which operated as a museum since 1945, into a mosque and to open it for worship. Like Hagia Sophia, Chora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As a member of the Alliance of Cultures, Turkey is committed to interfaith and intercultural dialogue and the promotion of tolerance and coexistence.”

President Recept Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree on Friday morning that converts another historical Byzantine church in Istanbul into a mosque. After Hagia Sophia, the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora will also open for Islamic prayers and lose its status as a museum which it had since 1945.

Chora, which had been turned into the Kariye Museum after WWII and was then extensively restored, is covered with some of the finest Byzantine mosaics and frescoes.

Originally built in the 4th century, the church was comprehensively rebuilt around 1077-81 and again after a partial collapse following an earthquake early in the 12th century.

The church has some of the finest Byzantine mosaics and frescoes that will be covered with curtains just as in Hagia Sophia.

 

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One comment

  1. Impossible that Erdogan does not know that he hurts millions of Christians by doing so and breaking the status quo; and thus he is intentionally provoking Christians, which is a grave sin. However, collaterally and unintentionally from him, it is a slap on the face of the Europe and the West that has apostatised from its Christian roots and converts its emptied cathedrals to storehouses, discotheques and even mosques. Without Christ the West is sin, and sooner it understands it, the better.