Turkey: Vandalism, garbage and dirt in Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia vandalism

New photos and videos of vandalism, garbage and dirt in Hagia Sophia are spreading like wildfire on Turkish social media.

The photos are accompanied by comments from users against Turkish authorities who cannot protect the monument, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The vandalism of the imperial gate of the Cathedral turned mosque provoked the reaction of Greece, to which the Turkish media refer today.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry stated that "We are appalled and saddened by the images of the vandalism against the Imperial Gate of the Hagia Sophia –a World Heritage Site– in Istanbul."

“We call on the competent authorities to do their due diligence in order for those responsible to be brought to justice and the damage to the Monument to be immediately repaired,” the statement added.

They also echo of the denunciation of the Turkish Association of Art History, which caused a sensation.

The General Directorate of Islamic Endowment has already announced that it is launching an investigation into the vandalism and the identification of the perpetrators.

For his part, the General Secretary of the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul, Mahir Polat, requested the intervention of the Prosecutor.

"The person or persons who caused the disaster should be identified by the cameras. The issue must reach the Prosecutor's Office, according to article 65 of Law 2863, since the damages concern a historic building of the 1st degree and were caused intentionally," commented Polat on his personal Twitter account.

The General Directorate of Religious Endowment announced that an investigation has been launched to identify the perpetrators.

As it became known, two administrative and two technical inspectors of the Directorate undertook to investigate the case of the destruction of the imperial gate of Hagia Sophia.

In the last few hours, photos and videos of decaying images in Hagia Sophia have been posted on Turkish social media networks, with a variety of comments.

A video from last December shows damage to the interior walls of the monument, just behind the imperial gate, which has since seen signs of vandalism.

A photo of the Hagia Sophia imperial gate in 1890, one of the oldest, when the cathedrals was again functioning as a mosque, was posted on social networks.

READ MORE: Hagia Sophia – Then, Now, Always.