Greek politicians reacted to the situation with the Hagia Sophia
The decision to make the mosque of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul caused a sharp reaction of Greek politicians, regardless of their political beliefs and religious views.
The state Council, Turkey's highest administrative court - July 10, annulled the decision of 1934 the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a Museum. Immediately after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he had signed a decree about the transformation of the Cathedral into a mosque and the beginning of Muslim worship there.
Former Prime Minister of Greece, leader of the largest opposition party coalition of the radical left SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras, stating that he is an atheist, believes that the international community must respond to these actions the Greek government is obliged to raise the issue at the international level.
"The decision of the President of Turkey to turn Hagia Sophia is a unique world heritage site of great historic and spiritual significance for Christianity, the mosque is a serious problem that undermines interfaith dialogue and clearly violates universal values that are needed today, as always," wrote Tsipras on his page in Facebook.
A longtime political rival of Tsipras, former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of center-right party New democracy has accused Europe and the West into inaction.
"During the 20 centuries of Christianity's existence Saint Sophia for over 1000 years was the most symbolic and majestic Christian Church. Today it is again converted into a mosque! And the world reaction indifferent! Europe is asleep. The West is committing suicide. Those who do not defend their identity and culture is dying," wrote Samaras in Facebook.
The leader of the center-left Movement for change KINAL (former PASOK) Fofie Gennimata urged to introduce international sanctions for Hagia Sophia, since in her words, only understands Turkey.
"The decision of Erdogan to turn the Hagia Sophia into a mosque - it is a challenge and affront to the entire civilized world and Christianity. For us Greeks, it's like a knife. He despises the decision of UNESCO, which declared the Cathedral a monument of world cultural heritage", - quotes its words edition "Naftemporiki".
The President of KINAL believes that Erdogan is a threat to peace and stability in the region.
"International organizations, the United States, the European Union, the Council of Europe must now respond not with words but with actions and sanctions. This is the only thing that Turkey understands. When the Greek government has finally react effectively?" said Gennimata.
The leader of right party "the Greek solution" Kyriakos Felopulos called for "immediate reaction" with "an unprecedented historical insult" that Turkey causes age-old symbol of Orthodoxy.
"Immediate closure of borders to all Turkish goods and completion. A complete embargo on Turkish goods and services. The transformation of the so-called house of Kemal (house-Museum of the founder of the modern Turkish state Kemal Ataturk in Thessaloniki, ed.), which was never the house of the butcher, the Museum in honor and memory of victims of Pontic Greek genocide", - reads the statement of Veropoulos.
Former President of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos got in touch with the Constantinople Patriarch Bartholomew on the phone. According to "Naftemporiki" he as a Greek and European citizen, and as an Orthodox Christian, expressed its full support for Bartholomew "in his great struggle for the defence of Orthodoxy, of Christianity in General, and of culture, against the blasphemous actions of Turkey and personally its President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in connection with religious and cultural desecration of the Hagia Sophia".
Sam Bartholomew, positioning itself as the leader of world Orthodoxy, which is based in Istanbul, has yet to respond to the actions of the Turkish authorities. Blog Fanara covering the work of Bartholomew, yet not even informed to change the status of Hagia Sophia and its transformation into a mosque.
The Hagia Sophia was founded by the Christian Emperor Justinian, and was opened on 27 December 537. Cathedral over a thousand years was the largest Church in the Christian world. After the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans and the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the Cathedral was converted into a mosque but since 1934 the building by decree of the founder of the modern Turkish state Kemal Ataturk became a Museum and was included in the world heritage list of UNESCO.
The decision to turn the Hagia Sofia mosque caused a sharp reaction in many countries of the world.