The European Commission’s Vice-President, Margaretis Skanes, was disappointed by the Turkish authorities ’decision to turn the Hagia Sophia Historical Museum in Istanbul into a mosque.
“I am bitter and resentful about turning the museum into a mosque,” Skincas, who is also the commissioner for Greece at the European Commission, told a news conference on Friday.
Today is a difficult day, and I think that I am not the only one who feels such feelings”.
He continued, “Turkey will have to define its broader geopolitical goal, and what is the party that it wants to stand with in the future, and if it wants to walk with Europe, it should continue to move forward in this direction in line with our principles and values, and what is happening today to Hagia Sophia is a wrong start”.
This comes against the background of the establishment of the first prayer in the Hagia Sophia since the Turkish Supreme Administrative Court issued earlier this month a historical ruling to cancel the decision of the secular Turkish government in 1934 that transformed this historic landmark from a mosque to a museum.
The historic Hagia Sophia was built in 537 as a church, and after the Ottoman takeover of Constantinople in 1453 it was converted into a mosque, while it was converted into a museum in the 1930s.