Turkish social media triggered by display of Greek flag in Hagia Sophia: "He is a paid Mossad agent"

Greek flag in Hagia Sophia

A Greek tourist displaying his country's flag inside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has triggered angry reactions across Turkish social media, which resulted in wild conspiracy theories, such as that he is a "paid Mossad agent."

Greek tourist Apostolos Papatheodoros posted on Instagram: “My beloved City, forever Greek," accompanied by a photo of him holding the Greek flag in Hagia Sophia, originally built as an Eastern Orthodox church in 360 AD but now serving as a mosque.

Turkish social media reacted angrily to the photo and described it as provocative, with many blaming the country's authorities for allowing the action.

See some of the reactions of Turks on social media:

Don't abuse Turkish tolerance; your ancestors know us well.....!!!!

These jackals are not my neighbours, they are my enemies.

He is paid Mossad agent. Familiar with his type.

https://twitter.com/joyobailey1/status/1768989661290971467

There was a lot of reaction to the tourist who shared his photo with the note "My beloved City, forever Greek"

Several other social media users even chose to respond by saying, “I hope you know how to swim”, “the sea is cold, my love”, and “you miss swimming”, making an indirect reference to the Smyrna disaster of 1922, the final act of the Turkish-perpetrated Greek Genocide, in which 1 million Greeks were killed between 1914 and 1923.

After the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 and the collapse of the Greek-speaking Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque by Mehmed the Conqueror until in 1935 when the founder of the Republic of Turkey and one of the perpetrators of genocide, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum.

On 10 July 2020, the decision of the Council of Ministers to transform the Hagia Sophia into a museum was annulled by the Council of State, decreeing that the building could not be used "for any other purpose" after reasoning that Mehmed the Conqueror deemed the church to be used by the public as a mosque without any fees and that it was not within the jurisdiction of the Parliament or a ministry council.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed a decree annulling the Hagia Sophia's museum status and reverting it to a mosque. Shortly after the announcement, the call to prayer was broadcast from the minarets.

READ MORE: Turkey discusses "Aegean issues" with Greece - Güler raises "Blue Homeland" irredentism.

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