The Turkish government has condemned Saturday the Greek authorities’ response to Muslim prayer this Friday in Hagia Sophia and a related protest in Thessaloniki, the participants of which burned the Turkish flag.
The old basilica in Istanbul held its first Muslim prayer on Friday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a prominent assistant after his transformation into a mosque, a movement that has generated widespread international criticism.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque was not a manifestation of Turkey’s strength but its weakness. Ankara “challenges the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus and violates the culture of the 21st century through such steps,” he said.
Turkey’s response came on Saturday from foreign spokesman Hami Aksoy, who said: “Greece is reaffirming its hostility to Islam and Turkey by responding to the opening of the Hagia Sophia mosque for prayer.”