VR deputies demand that Zelensky discuss Sophia with Turkish authorities
The Ukrainian government and President are obliged to impress on Turkey the concern of the Ukrainians over the decision on Hagia Sophia’s status, claims "OPZZh".
The “Opposition Platform for Life” ("OPZZh") party demands that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky "take an active stance" and discuss with Turkish authorities their plans to turn the Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul into a mosque. This was said in a statement published on the website of the "Opposition Platform for Life" on 11 July 2020.
"We believe that the conversion of the cathedral from a museum to a functioning mosque will seriously damage the interreligious and intercultural dialogue, is contrary to international principles of tolerance and coexistence," reads the statement. “Hagia Sophia has important religious, cultural and civilizational meaning for the whole Christian world. The cathedral has especially deep symbolism for millions of Ukrainian Christian believers, regardless of their confession.”
According to the political force, "the Ukrainian government and personally President Vladimir Zelensky must convey the concern of Ukrainian citizens about the decision to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque on the Turkish leadership.
"As a partner country of the Turkish Republic, Ukraine is obliged to inform the Turkish leadership about the risk of such political decisions. To give strong arguments from its own recent history against state interference in religious issues and interfaith relations. The "Opposition Platform – for Life" requires Vladimir Zelensky to take an active stance and discuss with the leadership of the Republic of Turkey plans to turn the Hagia Sophia Cathedral into a mosque," the statement concludes.
As reported, July 10, 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree changing the status of the Hagia Sophia Cathedral and said that already on July 24 Sophia will open as a mosque for Islamic divine services.