"Unlike Turkey, Greece invests in Ottoman monuments", says Greek Culture Minister

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"The attitude of the Greek government towards the moves of the President of Turkey is clear and unambiguous and has been reflected at all levels," Culture Minister Lina Mendoni stressed in Parliament, referring to Turkey's decision to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

Mendoni underlined that unlike Turkey, Greece has invested more than €50 million in the last 20 years to preserve and protect Ottoman monuments within its territory.

The Minister of Culture stated that "this action by Erdogan is a provocation for all, since a world-class monument with huge and very serious symbolic value is converted into an Islamic temple to serve the personal politics of the president of Turkey and satisfy his domestic supporters."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğansigned the decreelast Friday, allowing the operation ofHagia Sophia as a “functioning mosque”, according to which the country’s General Directorate of Religious Affairs would take control of the building.

Erdoğan also announced thatHagia Sophia mosque will be open for prayer on July 24.

It is recalled that Turkish newspaperHurriyetreported that Hagia Sophia will be open for prayer but also for tourists who want to visit it. They said thaticons and mosaics will be covered with special technology and lighting.