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Engel Statement on Hagia Sophia

Bronx, NY– Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today issued the following statement on Turkish President Erdogan’s announcement to convert the Hagia Museum into a mosque:

“I condemn President Erodgan’s decision to convert the Hagia Sophia from a world-renowned museum into a mosque. For the last 85 years, this magnificent structure has stood as a testament to the peaceful coexistence of people of all faiths. This move by Erdogan is particularly offensive to many Christians who view the Hagia Sophia not only as a symbol of their faith, but as a monument of peaceful existence between Islam and Christianity. It is critical that Hagia Sophia continue to retain its historical importance as a hallmark of both human achievement and cultural coexistence. I strongly urge President Erdogan to reverse this decision immediately and restore Hagia Sofia’s status as a museum and ensure that it remains a UNESCO World Heritage site for peoples of all faiths and backgrounds to enjoy.”

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