Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his provocative statements, lashing out at Greece, two days after the opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque, despite international reactions to the conversion of the church.
“During the opening of Hagia Sophia, we saw some countries unaware that Istanbul is Turkish territory”, the Turkish president said at an opening ceremony of the Turkish Intelligence Agency (MIT)’s new offices, adding, “after centuries since it was conquered, it is still not acceptable that Istanbul is in the hands of the Turkish nation and the Muslims”.
Erdogan also referred to Constantinople, saying the goal is to become “the center of the economy, culture and health”. He placed special emphasis on security issues.
“Our goal is to make Istanbul one of the safest cities in the world. One of the conditions for living in such an important location is to detect and prevent espionage activities of other states and terrorist organizations against our country. Providing security in Istanbul is not an easy task. With this center (meaning MIT), we have the second-largest center after its headquarters in Ankara.
These statements follow the threats by the Turkish president, who said that Ankara has no aspirations for anyone’s land and natural resources, but insisted that “we do not allow anyone to interfere in our interests and our rights”.
“We openly warn all those who speak and behave against our country in a way that is not in line with politics, diplomacy, good intentions and logic: If you dare to pay the price we have paid, let us confront. If you do not have such an objective, then start negotiations as soon as possible”, he noted.