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Greek PM says mosque conversion ‘completely unnecessary’

During his customary monthly briefing at the Presidential Mansion, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his dissatisfaction with the conversion of a former Byzantine church in Constantinople, the Monastery of Chora, into a mosque.

He pledged to raise the issue with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Ankara next Monday.

“The conversion of the Monastery of Chora into a mosque sends a negative message; it’s a monument of cultural heritage. When we aim for good relations, we must respect common values,” stated President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

The decision by Turkish authorities “constitutes a challenge to the international community, distorting and insulting its character as a UNESCO world cultural heritage site,” announced the Greek Foreign Ministry.

During his visit to the Presidential Mansion, the Prime Minister reiterated his call for citizens to exercise their voting rights in the European elections.

“We are facing significant geopolitical challenges. Compared to the situation in 2019, the last time we had European elections, many clouds darken Europe’s sky, and we will need to face these challenges with confidence and courage,” he emphasised, discussing the need for increased European competitiveness and stricter but fair policies on border security.