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Parliamentary questions
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26 March 2019
P-001494-19
Question for written answer P-001494-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Kostas Chrysogonos (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Moves to make Saint Sophia a mosque
 Answer in writing 

On 24 March 2019, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Turkish television that, after the March 31 elections, he was thinking of turning the Saint Sophia museum into a mosque so that it could be visited free of charge. He went on to suggest that the name could even be changed to Saint Sophia Mosque(1). However, this is a direct infringement of international and European law. It must be remembered that the historic site of Saint Sophia in Istanbul was designated part of the Unesco world cultural heritage back in 1985. In other words, the present museum is strictly secular and is, moreover, protected under the World Heritage Convention(2).

In view of this:
1. What action will the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy take in response to the above moves by the Turkish Government?
2. What measures will she take to protect the cultural heritage of Christian minorities in Turkey?

(1)http://www.kathimerini.gr/1016154/article/epikairothta/kosmos/erntogan-gia-agia-sofia-meta-tis-ekloges-mporei-na-thn-kanoyme-tzami
(2)http://whc.unesco.org/archive/convention-en.pdf

Original language of question: EL 
Last updated: 3 April 2019Legal notice