The initiative of the President of Turkey to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque ignores the symbolic meaning of the spiritual and cultural monuments, as well as international conventions, and distorts historical facts, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the great House of Cilicia said in a statement.
Second, he added, prompted by its internal and external interests, as well as its international political ambitions, Turkey is ignoring the reactions of its old and new friends.
“Third, Turkey’s present policy will destroy the confidence gained so far in Christian-Muslim cooperation and dialogue on local, regional and international levels. Turkey is ignoring such warnings,” His Holiness added.
Fourth, the Catholicos said, the current ruling reveals the cynicism and hypocrisy behind Turkey’s stated intention to open up to the West and Christian communities.
His Holiness Aram I asked the political and religious leaders to remember that soon after the Armenian Genocide, Turkey confiscated thousands of Armenian Churches and transformed them into bars, coffee shops and public parks ignoring the reactions and appeals of the international community.
“Yes, genocide continues by the same genocidal authorities in the full view of the world. The chauvinist ideology of the Ottoman Empire is infiltrating and spreading throughout the Arab World and the West,” reminded His Holiness Aram I.