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Mitsotakis calls for sanctions against Turkey in meeting with Cypriot President

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The Greek Prime Minister has had enough of Turkey’s “unnecessary and petty” decision to reconvert Hagia Sophia into a mosque, demanding a more “comprehensive European response.”

In a a joint press conference with visiting Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke about the Turkish President’s “unprecedented decision” to change the status of Hagia Sophia, which redescribed as “regressive.”

“Hagia Sophia has become a world heritage monument and that does not change,” adding that “history teaches us that the world’s heritage can not become a tug-of-war between states.”

“The unprecedented decision regarding the character of Hagia Sophia hurts us as Greek Orthodox Christians, but it also hurts us as citizens of the world. This issue is not a Greek-Turkish issue, it is not even a Euro-Turkish issue, it is global. It is a universal issue.”

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s move to switch the status of Hagia Sophia to a mosque has been met with a strong response from Greeks, who revere the sixth century building as a focal point of their Orthodox Christian faith.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said Greece and Cyprus sought dialogue, peace, and stability and did not engage in provocative actions unlike Turkey.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. Photo: Kyriakos Mitsotakis Twitter

“[Turkey’s] dispute of our sovereign rights and international law means it is time for more dynamic reactions,” the Greek PM said on Tuesday.

“United and determined, Europe must now draw up a specific list of action and sanctions against a country that asserts the role of the regional trouble-maker and is developing into threat for regional stability.”

The Greek PM also commented on Ankara’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, re-addressing Turkey’s violation of international law by drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, disregarding the fact that it is a candidate country for EU membership. 

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