July 10, 2020 / 2:57 PM / a month ago

Greek culture minister says Hagia Sophia verdict a 'provocation'

People gather in front of the Hagia Sophia or Ayasofya, after a court decision that paves the way for it to be converted from a museum back into a mosque, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 10, 2020. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s culture ministry said on Friday a Turkish court verdict which could convert the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul to a mosque was an ‘open provocation’ to the civilized world.

“Today’s decision, which came as a result of the political will of President (Tayyip) Erdogan, is an open provocation to the civilized world which recognises the unique value and ecumenical nature of the monument,” Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said in a written statement.

Reporting By Renee Maltezou; writing by Michele Kambas

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