US State Department urges Turkey to respect Hagia Sophia

The US State Department reacted to the provocative move by Turkish authorities to allow and support the reading of the Quran in the UNESCO designated site of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul during a press briefing, Thursday. “The site, Hagia Sophia, is a site of extraordinary significance, and we understand that and we respect that. So we call on the Turkish Government to preserve the Hagia Sophia in a way that respects its complex history”, said Heather Nauert. Continuing she added that then US encouraged the Turkish government to preserve the site’s significance for all faiths. “I’m not saying that at all. It’s a complex history, and we recognise that it is of great significance to other faiths, many faiths. And so we would just encourage the Turkish Government to do that, to preserve it.” A Turkish Imam had read the Quran in the UNESCO site, which had been a Church and Mosque in the past.

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