US Religious Freedom Envoy Urges Turkey to Keep Hagia Sophia as Museum
U.S. envoy for international religious freedom Sam Brownback urged Turkey on Thursday to keep the Hagia Sophia as a museum rather than revert it back into a mosque as has been mooted by the government.
''The Hagia Sophia holds enormous spiritual & cultural significance to billions of believers of different faiths around the world,'' Brownback, United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, said in a tweet, Ahval News reports.
He called on the Turkish government to keep it as a UNESCO World Heritage site and ''to maintain accessibility to all in its current status as a museum''.
Brownback’s tweet comes after Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni sent a letter to representatives of UNESCO’s member-states informing them of Ankara’s plans to turn the monument into a mosque, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported.
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