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businessdaily-Mitsotakis-Sakellaropoulou
Φωτο: Aris Oikonomou / SOOC

Mitsotakis: Conversion of the Monastery of Chora into a mosque was unnecessary

Mitsotakis also referred to the unnecessary conversion of a historic Byzantine temple, the Monastery of Chora, into a mosque. It is an action which insults Istanbul's rich history.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis highlighted the importance of voters' active participation in the upcoming European Parliament elections, during his regular monthly meeting with the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Wednesday.

"We are coming into the final stretch before the European elections on June 9 and on the occasion of our meeting I will repeat the need for the largest possible participation in a very important electoral process, which concerns every Greek, as the things that will be decided in Europe in the next five years will also have an impact within Greece" he said. 

"Our continent is facing very important geopolitical challenges and, in comparison with the conditions in 2019 when we had the last Euroelections, many more clouds have gathered in Europe's sky and we will be asked to tackle these challenges with self-confidence and courage, whether we are speaking about defence policy, where we must channel more European funds, or the continuaton of a strict but fair policy for protecting the external borders, or the need to enhance Europe's competitiveness so we can compete with the USA and China on an equal footing" he added.

Mitsotakis also referred to his upcoming visit to Ankara on Monday, which returns a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Athens, and publicly expressed his displeasure over the "unnecessary conversion of a historic Byzantine temple, the Monastery of Chora, into a mosque. It is an action which insults Istanbul's rich history as a crossroads of civilisations and is an issue which, of course, I will put to President Erdogan when I meet him." 

Furthermore, Mitsotakis added, the meeting will serve as an opportunity to assess the effort for a rapprochement between Greece and Turkiye, which he said has had "measurable results on many levels". 

"We always approach our talks with Turkiye with self confidence and without delusions. The Turkish positions will not change from one day to the next. Nevertheless, I consider it a given that channels of communication should always be open so that we can discuss with sincerity and, when we disagree, do so without tensions and without this leading to an escalation in the field, as we have, unfortunately, seen happening in the last four years," the prime minister underlined.

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Mitsotakis also stressed that Greece is also mobilizing its diplomacy, notifying friendly nations and alerting allies and partners. "We are not alone in this effort. The immediate response of the European Union to our request to convene the Foreign Affairs Council confirms that this is not purely an issue of Greek-Turkish relations. It concerns the relations of all of Europe with Turkey," he said.