Secretary Pompeo: Hagia Sophia should remain a museum
U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo made a statement regarding the debate around the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. “We urge the government of Turkey to continue to maintain Hagia Sophia as a museum, as an exemplar of its commitment to respect the faith of traditions and diverse history that contributed to the Republic of Turkey and to ensure it remains accessible to all,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo stated the following in his statement:
“The United States views a change in the status of the Hagia Sophia as diminishing the legacy of this remarkable building and its unsurpassed ability—so rare in the modern world—to serve humanity as a much-needed bridge between those of different faith traditions and cultures. We seek to continue to work with the Government of Turkey on a broad range of issues of mutual interest, including the preservation of religious and cultural sites.”
The spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hami Aksoy, gave a written answer to the question regarding the statement of the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs about the status of Hagia Sophia.
Stating that “they were surprised” by the remarks of the U.S. Department of State, Aksoy said, “No one has the right to speak in a ‘warning or dictating’ manner about our sovereign rights.”
Would Trump tweet about Hagia Sophia?
Hagia Sophia will not cause a crisis between Turkey and the U.S., but it will come as no surprise if the discussions continue, and President Trump makes a statement regarding internal politics. Yet Trump, who has close relations with religious leaders, especially evangelists, can make a statement about this issue. The topic does not occupy the U.S. media’s agenda much; however, the systematic defamation campaign of anti-Turk groups is continuing.