Call to action by the Pallaconian Youth- Restore The Hagia Sophia Museum

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The Pallaconian Youth has launched an online petition calling on the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison to send a strong message to the Turkish government, demanding that it repeal the Presidential Decree transforming the Hagia Sophia Museum into a practicing mosque.

The Pallaconian Brotherhood is a philanthropic organisation, which was established in 1961 with the influx of newly arrived migrants to Australia. The organisations’ purpose to unite all Hellenes of Laconian origin, their descendants and the wider Greek Community living in Melbourne & Victoria, to promote Hellenic values and engage in philanthropy.

"Under the current government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his calls for converting the Hagia Sophia to a mosque surfaced in 2018 amidst an international climate of genocide recognition (Armenian, Assyrian & Greek) and economic and political instability at home in Turkey," the petition states.

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

This Decision:

  1. Violates International Law and the monument’s UNESCO heritage listing
  2. Is evidence of Erdogan’s provocative and inflammatory neo-Ottomanist policies
  3. Contradicts the earlier 1934 decree issued by Ataturk affirming its monument status
  4. Puts Hagia Sophia at structural risk and endangers conservation of the historic site

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

It is recalled that Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported that 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.

The decision sparked criticism from around the world.

Sign the petition here-