“The insult and hubris do not attain only Orthodox Christianity, or even Christianity as a whole, but the whole civilised humanity, any thinking human being, irrespective of religion,” Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece told ANA-MPA.
The leader of Greece’s Orthodox Church added Erdogan was exploiting religion to attain political and geopolitical roles, but that his attempt would be futile. “It is hard to kick against the goads,” he said, quoting from the Acts of the Apostles.
On Friday, Erdoğan also announced that Hagia Sophia mosque will be open for prayer on July 24.
“Hagia Sophia will start functioning as a mosque after 86 years. I hope this decision will benefit all of humanity. “The doors of Hagia Sophia will be open to everyone,” he said.
“Open to all, Muslims and non-Muslims,” he added.
According to Hürriyet, Hagia Sophia will be open for prayer but also for tourists who want to visit it. They said that icons and mosaics will be covered with special technology and lighting.
Specifically, special curtains will be used during Islamic prayer, while carpets will be placed on the floor which will be illuminated to darken the space and not show paintings.
This means that visitors to Hagia Sophia will have to take off their shoes to enter the temple.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to decide the specific details on Tuesday.