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Parliamentary questions
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3 July 2020
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Ioannis Lagos (NI)
 Subject: Shameless provocation by Turkey: manipulation in order to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque

With unprecedented effrontery, Erdogan’s regime is attempting to convert Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO world heritage site, into a mosque. Following an appeal from two NGOs devoted both to Erdogan and to the goal of converting Hagia Sophia back into a mosque, Turkey’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, has taken an ambiguous decision. The Court finds that the 1934 decision by the Council of Ministers that turned the historic structure into a museum is valid, but it also gives Erdogan the authority to change the status of Hagia Sophia by issuing a simple presidential decree, leaving this pre-eminent monument of Christian culture exposed to Erdogan’s intentions. It is beyond all doubt that Turkey’s acts regarding the status of Hagia Sophia constitute a deliberate provocation against the Christian world.

In view of this:

1. What actions is the Commission willing to take in order to hinder the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque and will the EU tollerate Hagia Sophia being left unconditionally exposed to Erdogan’s ambitions and political opportunism?

2. If a mosque or a synagogue was threatened with having its status changed, how would the EU react, and has political correctness put Christianity under persecution?

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