U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

07/12/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/12/2020 13:41

Engel Statement on Hagia Sophia

Bronx, NY- Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today issued the following statement on Turkish President Erdogan's announcement to convert the Hagia Museum into a mosque:

'I condemn President Erodgan's decision to convert the Hagia Sophia from a world-renowned museum into a mosque. For the last 85 years, this magnificent structure has stood as a testament to the peaceful coexistence of people of all faiths. This move by Erdogan is particularly offensive to many Christians who view the Hagia Sophia not only as a symbol of their faith, but as a monument of peaceful existence between Islam and Christianity. It is critical that Hagia Sophia continue to retain its historical importance as a hallmark of both human achievement and cultural coexistence. I strongly urge President Erdogan to reverse this decision immediately and restore Hagia Sofia's status as a museum and ensure that it remains a UNESCO World Heritage site for peoples of all faiths and backgrounds to enjoy.'

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