On Friday morning, Turkey’s foreign ministry issued a statement in response to yesterday’s announcement by the Greek Foreign Ministry which accused Turkey of praying in Hagia Sophia.
However, Ankara is not in fact replying to the accusations but instead blames Greece for violating human rights and religious freedoms!
The announcement states:
We condemn the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece about the recital of the Quran and the call for prayer in Hagia Sophia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, instead of extending its congratulations to the Turkish people on the holy month of Ramadan and the “Night of Power”, opted for distorting the recital of Quran and call for prayer in Hagia Sophia.
The record of Greece in the field of freedom of religion, which is among the fundamental human rights, is well-known.
Just to cite a few examples: The Greek authorities subject the Turkish Muslim minority in Greece to increasing pressure, file law-suites against the elected Muftis for regular duties conducted by them and turned down this year once again the Muslims’ request for praying during the upcoming Ramadan Feast in one of the historical mosques in Thessaloniki where there is no open mosque for worshipping.
Therefore, one can question what Greece, which still does not have a mosque open for worshipping in its capital either, understands from the interfaith dialogue that it has referred to in the statement.
We invite Greece to be a modern and democratic country and respect all religions./ΙΒΝΑ