"Turkey's authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again stated his desire to turn the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Currently, Hagia Sophia is a museum. As a World Heritage Site, it is open to all and appreciated for its stunning architecture and history, including its history as a Byzantine era basilica. But Erdogan is now again adding his voice to the movement to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque, saying in a March interview that it was possible to "change its name from museum to Hagia Sophia Mosque."
The Greek government has responded:
"It is not only a great temple of Christendom — the largest for many centuries — it also belongs to humanity. It has been recognized by UNESCO as part of our global cultural heritage," Greek Foreign Minister George Katrougalos said.
This is just the latest in a series of attempts to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The Turkish government has already supported recent prayers at Hagia Sophia, and other government officials are on record as saying that the museum should be converted.
Send a letter to UNESCO demanding that it issue a statement in support of Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The more attention we bring to this "creeping conversion" of Hagia Sophia, the more likely it will be that we will succeed in protecting and preserving this historic site."