Majority of Greeks Unhappy with EU Response to Hagia Sofia Mosque Conversion

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A majority of Greeks have expressed dissatisfaction with the international response to the Turkish regime announcing it would be converting the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

A poll, released by the Thessaloniki-based Vergina television station, has revealed that 87 per cent of Greeks are disappointed in the European Union’s reaction to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s move to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

The majority, 53 per cent, also said the Greek government should have done more on the issue, while 77 per cent disapproved of Russia’s stance on the matter, Proto Thema reports.

Russia, like Greece, has a large Orthodox Church population and the Hagia Sophia, the largest church not just in Orthodoxy but in all Christendom until the violent conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) by the Ottoman Turks, has major religious and cultural significance.

When it comes to how to respond to Erdogan’s actions, 68 per cent of Greeks said financial sanctions would be appropriate, while 28 per cent said they felt nothing would stop the Islamist leader.

Meanwhile, the poll found that 40 per cent of Greeks would be open to converting the house in Greece where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, into a museum of the “Genocide of Hellenism”.

55 per cent disagreed with such a move, however.

The Greek government expressed opposition to converting the Hagia Sophia earlier this month, with government spokesman Stelios Petsas saying the move would strain relations between Christians and Turkey.

Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic church, also came out against the conversion, saying “My thoughts go to Istanbul. I think of Santa Sophia and I am very pained.”

He also wrote a letter to Erdogan expressing “grief and dismay.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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