Comment by the Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of Armenia on changing the status of Hagia Sophia by the decision of the Turkish authorities

11 July, 2020

We express our deep concern about the decision of the authorities of Turkey to convert Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, into a mosque.

Hagia Sophia is not merely a historical and cultural monument. Throughout its history, it has been bearing diverse religious, cultural and political significance.

Granting a museum status to Hagia Sophia and inscribing it on the UNESCO World Heritage List symbolised cooperation and unity of humankind instead of clash of civilizations. Regrettably, the recent decision of the Turkish authorities brings to a close this important mission and symbolism of Hagia Sophia.

This decision creates a dangerous precedent for substantial changes of the purpose and the meaning of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This situation calls for close monitoring by the international community, particularly the UNESCO, for the preservation of historic sites with such status in the territory of Turkey.

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