Protests took place across Greece on Friday after Turkey’s Choice to reconvert Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia to a Muslim place of worship.
Hundreds prayed and sang into the noise of the bouzouki in Athens’ Kolokotroni square, holding banners reading”No to fresh Ottomanism” and denouncing”the next capture of Constantinople by the Turks”.
Still, another rally with some 150 individuals was staged in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city.
The early construction and UNESCO World Heritage site of Hagia Sophia went through numerous changes during the centuries.
Inaugurated at 537 as a Christian cathedral, it turned into a Mosque at 1453 after the Ottomans’ conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) and the following fall of the Eastern Roman/Byzantine empire.
It then was converted into a museum by Turkey in 1934, as a part of its attempts to develop into a secular country.
But matters were set to alter once again as just a couple weeks past Turkish president Erdoğan declared the iconic building could be turned right into a mosque after a High Court judgment saying Hagia Sophia’s memorial standing was prohibited.
The decision wasn’t welcomed nicely in neighboring Greece.
On Friday afternoon, once the cathedral reopened to the loyal, church bells rang in mourning across Greece and flags flew in half-staff.
The mind of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos II, known as the reconversion that an”ungodly defiling behave”, including that now is”a day of mourning for all of Christendom”.
The Patriarch will maintain a special mass at the Athens Cathedral in the night, where he’s expected to sing the Christian-Orthodox Akathist hymn for the Virgin Mary; a chant thought to have been sung at the year 626 to thank the Virgin to shielding Constantinople through an Ottoman siege.
Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told reporters on Friday that what is occurring at Hagia Sophia is”not a reflection of electricity” but a”sign of weakness”
After getting the Patriarch of Alexandria Theodore II, the Prime Minister is also known as turning”despair to strength, composure, and unity”
“Since Hagia Sophia exists just to unite all of us, inviting us to appear higher”, he stated, adding that”our hearts conquer”
Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas stated in a meeting with personal channel Open TV which Turkey’s move”will make an unbridgeable gap between Turkey and the Christian world”