Turkey is celebrating the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) on May 29 with a series of festivities throughout the day some of which will be taking place outside the presidential residence of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The fiestas marking the fall of the city in 1453 by Mehmet II kicked off in the morning with Erdogan as the protagonist.
A TV show organised by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Culture is expected to start at 21:00 in the evening with the reading of excerpts from the Quran and prayers, as Erdogan announced yesterday.
The Greek government spokesperson Stelios Petsas on Friday expressed the government’s disapproval of the events planned by Turkish authorities outside Hagia Sophia, on the occasion of the 567th anniversary since the Fall of Constantinople.
Speaking to SKAI TV, Petsas said: “The fiesta Ankara is preparing at Hagia Sophia is annoying because, apart from everything else, [Hagia Sophia] has been proclaimed a world cultural heritage museum and it is now being used to promote other purposes”.
Petsas pointed out that this was not the first time that something along these lines was happening at the historic church, adding that Greece was now stronger than at any other time in relation to Turkey due to the way it has dealt with the situation in Evros and also due to its successful management of the pandemic.
“We are monitoring any provocation but we always promote good neighbourly relations, in accordance with international law,” he said.