The Greek Community of Melbourne and the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW have issued statements condemning Turkey’s decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
The Greek Community of Melbourne:
The Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne & Victoria strongly condemns the Turkish Republic’s decision to reinstate the World Heritage listed cultural icon – Hagia Sofia (Αγία Σοφία) – back into a Mosque.
Hagia Sofia is a significant cultural monument acknowledged by UNESCO to be of World Significance. It’s complex history plays testament to the symbolic role it plays in the life of many people around the world, including Australians of Greek background.
Hagia Sophia belongs to the whole of humanity and should not be used as a tool of political and nationalistic exploitation.
The Greek Orthodox Community of NSW:
The Turkish government’s decision to turn Hagia Sophia, a World Heritage Site, into a mosque is unacceptable and confrontational.
This action is not only a direct insult to the character of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a link in the overall challenging and aggressive policy of the Turkish government.
The Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales unequivocally condemns this act and appeals to the international community to stop Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dangerous and contentious actions.
We call on the Australian Government to take the initiative in all International Forums to prevent the implementation of this decision which only incites hatred and enmity among the Peoples.
From the Board of Directors of the Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales.