FM Dendias: ‘We expect Turkey to change its neo-Ottoman policy on Hagia Sophia & Chora Monastery’

Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias addressed the opening of an exhibition at the Byzantine and Christian Museum on Wednesday evening.

At least 200 archival documents are shown at the exhibition, which is organized by the Service of Diplomatic & Historical Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on occasion of the 200th anniversary of the 1821 Greek Revolution.

It should be an obligation of all countries to protect Byzantine cultural heritage, noted Dendias.

“To protect, in particular, monuments that are part of world cultural heritage, such as the Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Chora. These monuments are now being used for other reasons, in violation of relevant international commitments,” he stressed.

Furthermore, he expressed deep regret “for the incomprehensible Turkish choice. A choice which was combined, at least until recently, with the close support of the Muslim Brotherhood, as a political move. With the attempt of the Muslim Brotherhood to destabilize a number of countries in the region, friends of Greece,” he added.

In this context, Dendias underlined that “we expect Turkey to change its neo-Ottoman policy. To strengthen those indications of a dimly visible turn. To return to the tradition of the secular state. To respect the monuments that other robust spiritual civilizations installed on its territory.”

This, he added, is also in the interest of Turkish society, and he said that he believes this is the will of a significant part of said society.